DENVER — After a shaky start and some tentative play, the Colorado Rapids were finally able to get things together and put some pressure on FC Dallas. Former Rapids goalkeeper Scott Garlick and
current Rapids keeper Joe Cannon had some big saves and the game ended in a 0-0 stalemate Saturday at Invesco Field.
Colorado was concerned with Dallas’ Carlos Ruiz and Eddie Johnson, and seemed to be more concerned with how they played them than with their own game.
“We played a very poor first half and couldn’t keep the ball,” Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo said. “We weren’t aggressive enough and played very tentatively.”
Colorado did have its chances on goal, but just couldn’t manage to beat Garlick. Colorado forward Wolde Harris had two prime opportunities and seemed visibly frustrated at his failure to score.
In the 73rd minute, Harris received the ball behind the defense 7 yards from goal, but Garlick was able to deflect it with his foot, and send the ball wide of the net.
“We got the ball in some dangerous positions,” Harris said. “I got a chance and thought I did everything right except putting the ball in the goal.”
But those chances were few and far between, as the Rapids struggled to keep possession of the ball at times, especially in the first half. Colorado gave Dallas too many chances in front of its own net. Dallas had 14 shots on goal to Colorado’s eight, but it made Colorado’s defense scramble at times.
The Rapid’s defense showed that they have some work to do before they feel comfortable with each other.
“They had the better of the game,” Cannon said. “We gave them too many chances, and it’s kind of disturbing.”
But Colorado did show what type of team it could become. In the second half, the Rapids spread the ball out to the wings and put the Dallas’ defense on its heels. To start the second half Mark Chung was moved into a central midfield role, and he settled the team down by spraying the ball out to his wingers.
“If I get the ball to my feet, I’m going to make some good decisions,” Chung said.
“We just needed to attack the defense, spread the ball to the wingers and get some shots.”
But the Rapids will need to gel quickly, since next week they play MLS newbies Real Salt Lake and hope to earn their first win and the three points that go with it.
“We need to be more comfortable on the ball,” Clavijo said. “We need to be more concerned with how we play and not how the other team plays.”
But to do that Colorado knows it has some things to tighten up, because Salt Lake will be no pushover and will likely look to flex its muscle and become the power in the Rocky Mountains.