Colorado Rapids may have lost to LAFC, but showed playoff potential

Colorado Rapids defender Lalas Abubakar. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Colorado Rapids defender Lalas Abubakar. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Rapids lost 2-1 at Los Angeles FC on Saturday night, the loss snapping a three-game winning streak. While the result was disappointing for the Rapids, it showed something very important about this emerging team.

The Rapids lost but they didn’t back down from one of the most talented teams in MLS.

It was far from an ideal start for the Colorado Rapids, on the road and down 2-0 within the first 20 minutes of the match. Goals by Diego Rossi in the 14th minute and the 33rd minute had the match in the balance of falling outside their grasp and getting out of control for the visitors.

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But the Rapids battled back and pulled within a goal in the 50th minute via Jack Price. It was a strong, team-effort from the Rapids in the 2-1 loss.

“A bit disappointed obviously with the result, but what we love about this team and why I love playing for this team is the grit – never give up,” Price said after the match.

“Still had chances toward the end where we had great chances to probably nick a point, if not more. And like I said, we’re disappointed but we felt we gave a good account of ourselves and can’t be too hard on ourselves tonight. We look forward to Dallas next week now, big game.”

LAFC, especially at home, is a tough match even with their slow start to the season. And while head coach Robin Fraser wasn’t in the mood after the match to talk about moral victories, his Colorado Rapids side showed well on the road even as they came away from the match empty-handed.

The identity of this Colorado Rapids side is emerging still after seeing their three-game winning streak snapped. Defensively, they’ve been tough to break down, especially at home. And in the final-third, they’ve improved for sure but still need someone at the top of the formation who can bag goals consistently.

They are a young side but they showed on Saturday that the foundation is there for this club to take a step forward. The second half was much-improved against one of the best sides in the league.

It was the type of performance, while flawed and far from perfect, that showed the Rapids to be a tough out. A loss, yes, but it validated their solid start to the season and last year’s trip to the playoffs.

Fraser has put together a side that may not be the most talented in MLS but is tough to break down and didn’t show signs of falling apart despite a rocking start to Saturday’s match.

“Obviously, we dug ourselves a little bit of a hole early on, but I thought throughout we were able to create some good chances as well,” Fraser said after the match.

“Obviously, LAFC is a very good team, but we feel like we could’ve come out of here with some points, but overall, really proud of the effort and the grit that the team showed. Certainly, going down 2-0 could’ve completely affected them and their mentality seemed like it got better at that point, so overall, really proud of the effort and disappointed not to get something out of the game.”

Follow Kristian Dyer of ‘MLS Multiplex‘ on Twitter Kristian Dyer @KristianRDyer