It was a tale of two halves.
For long stretches of the first half the Rapids looked like the fresher, more organized side. They limited clear chances for LAFC’s vaunted strikers and it wasn’t until the tide began to shift toward the end of the first half that LAFC appeared to find a rhythm. The Rapids, of course, made it to the break unscathed but it was a different story in the second half. Just moments after the break Lee Nguyen beat Kellyn Acosta and Deklan Wynne to a bouncing ball outside the box and then spun a moment of brilliance into a lead for the home side. The break though meant it was an uphill battle for the rest of the night for the Rapids.
"That's what happens when you don't take your chances," Dillon Serna said. "It's hard to come back from 1-0 down when you're chasing the game it opens up space like you saw for the second goal."
That being said, the Rapids had chances against LAFC – both when it was deadlocked, and to equalize when trailing 1-0. The margins for error are very slim on the road and LAFC is a very good team. You’ve got to take your chances when presented with them. The Rapids didn’t do that Sunday night. It’s a loss, but I think positives will show up on tape this week and Anthony Hudson will have his side ready and motivated to play the final Rocky Mountain Cup match of 2018.
Niki Jackson has earned more playing time.
The rookie will have as many moments of brilliance as he will have head-scratches. It’s that way with all rookies but maybe even more so with Niki. He entered the match in the 28th minute on Sunday night because Sam Nicholson was unable to continue. In his extended cameo, Jackson was dangerous and caused plenty of problems for LAFC’s backline with his pace and nose for goal. The rookie was full of confidence following his late-game heroics Tuesday night against the Galaxy and it showed. Yes, he’s a little bit raw and is prone to an unnecessary yellow card, but I think he’s earned – and may get – a few more shots to prove himself in the final nine games of the season.