By: William Gray
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – With FC Dallas coming to town the Rapids were looking to make up valuable points in the competitive Western Conference. However, after putting in the only two goals of the game, Colorado walked away with a 1-1 tie.
An own goal off the foot of Rapid’s defender Julien Baudet in the 22nd minute ended up costing Colorado two points and the victory. Scoring only four goals in their last five games, the lack of offense has made points scarce as well. Winless in their last 7 games, the Rapids have slipped to fifth in the Western Conference. With 24 points in the standings, Colorado finds themselves in the middle of the wildcard battle.
Currently seventh out of eight potential playoff positions, there are four teams within 4 points of the Rapids. Come playoff time, it could be a dogfight for the final spots.
Adding to the anemic offensive displays could be the health of leading-scorer, Conor Casey. Instead of gashing the Dallas defense, Casey took a more masochistic approach and sat out with a scalp laceration. Ranking sixth in goals around the MLS and first on the team in assists, Casey’s absence is a large one
Saturday, the void for Colorado was filled by a fortunate handball in the box, which allowed for Mehdi Ballouchy to punch in a PK in the 26th minute. When your team is in a scoring drought, Ballouchy certainly understands that the goals may not me pretty, but you’ll take them where you can get them.
The remainder of the game carried flashes of offensive prowess from Cummings and Clark, but without any decisive finishing ability
The second-half belonged to Dallas forward David Ferreira. He manufactured several excellent chances including shots in the 58th and 74th minutes that tested Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens. Each times Pickens held firm in the face of Ferreira’s challenges. The action remained tentative as neither team wanted to concede the game winner.
Both teams sputtered to a draw in the later minutes. Although thirsting for a win, the Rapids can take some satisfaction away after pulling a point from a charging Dallas club. Now unbeaten in eight straight, Dallas has become a strong playoff contender in the West.
“For us it means another home game has gone by without a win, and we don’t break that seven games now without a win,” said coach Gary Smith. The Rapids will have one more chance at home on Aug. 7th against San Jose before they hit the road on an East Coast swing.