Well, they tried. A banged up Colorado Rapids gave it all they got against a Dwayne De Rosario-inspired Toronto and almost came up with the goods in Canada. Instead, they return home defeated for a few days to regroup before a vital home and away series against San Jose.
Conor Casey, with his 13th goal of the season, equalized early in the second half after some rubbish defending from Toronto made Kosuke Kimura's floating cross much more dangerous than it should have been and Mike Holody, in only his second MLS game, notched a crucial goal very late on to give the Rapids some hope but it wasn't to be. De Rosario had scored a beauty in the first half to give Toronto the first half lead and it was also his bit of sublime skill that led to the second Toronto goal as he chipped a great pass into the penalty area for substitute, O'Brian White, to run onto and score with a neat lob. A third goal soon after appeared to have ended the game before Holody's very skilful late strike. If only Nick LaBrocca had put that one in from point blank range just minutes before Holody took his chance, the Rapids might have escaped with a point.
In truth, it was hard to expect the Rapids to get anything out of this game given injuries, suspension and other absences. The midfield was depleted with Mastroeni out through suspension, Jamie Smith and Colin Clark out for the rest of the season injured and Mehdi Ballouchy unable to travel because of immigration issues. Such absences meant a rare start for Greg Dalby as a defensive midfielder. The Rapids were also without Matt Pickens who is out injured for at least two weeks. Preston Burpo got his chance in goal and could not be faulted for any of the three Toronto goals.
Bright spots? Many, to be honest. LaBrocca had a powerful game in central midfield and it would only have been fair for him to have scored on that late opportunity. Omar Cummings was his usual menacing self and he will be disappointed at scuffing a golden opportunity in the second half when he carved an opening out of nothing. Jacob Peterson, quiet in the second half, had a good first 45 minutes and almost scored after creating an opening with Cummings and taking the Jamaican's return pass. It was good, too, to see Facundo Diz get a chance in the last ten minutes or so. He pushed himself around powerfully and wasn't afraid to get in the mix.
Gary Smith said he wanted four points from the next three games including today's. The home and away series against San Jose looks increasingly important to reach the 40 point nirvana.