I was just thinking about writing how as important it would be for the Rapids to get a great draw on the road as it was to stuff the Galaxy last week when up pops the Wizards substitute and scores the winner in the 86th. Very disappointing, especially after we had fought back from 2-0 down to tie the game. But don't despair and, most importantly, don't get down on the team after the euphoria of last weekend. Most people overreacted to the victory last weekend and this was a very tough game against a team that beat DC United last week. Not wanting to sound like a football manager but I do believe there were a lot of positives to come out of this game. Coach Clavijo fielded an unchanged starting line-up which was very encouraging for all those young players who played their socks off last week. And they played very well again this time around. Stephen Keel would probably admit to a couple of defensive errors which somewhat gifted the Wizards their 2-0 lead but he also pulled off a near miraculous goal line save and generally played very well. Nobody is going to blame him for our defeat. Kimura distributed the ball excellently and I think Erpen is relishing the fact that he is currently the senior figure in that backline. Burciaga scored the first Rapids goal and Bouna was immense in goal as usual. There wasn't really a lot he could do with the three goals and he saved at least two others. There, that's the defense. In midfield, LaBrocca and DiRaimondo were excellent (can anyone tell those two guys apart? - the Altitude TV commentator certainly couldn't but, then again, he actually couldn't tell most of the players apart.) They both worked tirelessly and LaBrocca looks very good in possession. DiRaimondo also scored the equalizing goal. I thought Herculez Gomez played very well when he came on as a sub for Clark. It's going to be hard to know how to fit all these players in when the injuries die down. Clark, Cooke and Christian Gomez are almost certain starters in midfield which doesn't give much room for the likes of Rafael Gomes, Kirovski, Colaluca etc. We'll have to see. I liked seeing Mastroeni back. He came on in the 63rd to replace LaBrocca and looked very reassuring. A final word on Omar Cummings who hustled all day and almost nicked it at the death. He might get a bit lonely up there all on his own, though, and I think it helped to have Herculez Gomez supporting him in the last half-hour.
It will be a disappointing trip back to DSG Park for the Rapids but not as long as the Class VI boys and girls who will be slumping back into their coach for the long ride home. Very encouraging to hear them shouting Bouna's name when he saved an almost certain goal in the first half. So, in conclusion, we lost the game because of some defensive errors but the team played well and looked very up for it. A minor setback on the road to MLS glory.