Jack Price carried off in Colorado Rapids loss to Minnesota United
The second half of the Colorado Rapids game Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park started out so promising. It ended in pain.
The Rapids fell to Minnesota United 2-1 and lost their captain Jack Price to what can only be considered a heartbreaking loss, as he had to be carried off the pitch shortly after coming on as a substitute.
“We got through most of (pre-season) feeling like we were in pretty good shape, but over the last few weeks more injuries keep popping up and it’s obviously disappointing and disruptive,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said. “… It’s shocking, it also feels like this is the way this season is going so far.”
Fraser was asked shortly after on a status update on Price, and said team officials haven’t had imaging as of his post-game interview and while the severity of the injury hadn’t been confirmed, he added “It certainly doesn’t appear to be good.”
Colorado made four changes from the loss against San Jose, as Anthony Markanich got the start for Alex Gersbach and Sam Nicholson for Keegan Rosenberry with both players out with hamstring injuries.
Colorado created five shots in the first half, as Michael Barrios and Connor Ronan each had solid efforts on goal after both had half-chances but were unable to finish.
The goal-less drought was at last broken in the 49th minute of the second half. Off of an overhit cross from Michael Barrios, Littleton native Cole Bassett did it on his own, as he spun past a defender and quickly fired a shot that hit the far post and bounced in. That ended a span of 319 minutes without a goal to start the season.
Even with his goal, Bassett was precise and cutting in what he felt needs to be different about the offensive chances. He needs his teammates to feel the same sense of offensive urgency.
“We’re very slow once we’re in that pocket (of space) and aren’t really going anywhere. So I think there needs to be more of that execution and more guys going forward and taking risks,” Bassett said after the game. “I mean, yeah, as the season goes along we’re gonna get better at it. Guys are gonna get better connections of more people finding the spots and the timing of things, but, we don’t have all season to be waiting for this.”
The Rapids’ lead lasted just five minutes.
In the 53rd minute, a handball was called on a cross into the box on Danny Wilson. The Loons were able to convert on the penalty kick as Luis Amarilla sent William Yarbrough the wrong way.
Tied at 1-1, Robin Fraser brought on a pair of substitutes in Rubio and Price in the 61st minute. Shortly after, Wilson nearly had a shot at redemption as his header off of a Price set piece hit the crossbar, while Markanich’s half-volley fizzed wide.
That’s when the night took a turn for the worse. In the 68th minute, Price made a sprint to chase a long ball meant for the Loons, and he went down with a non-contact injury. The captain immediately signaled to the training staff that he had to be substituted.
He was eventually carried off by the training staff as DSGP went silent.
While Colorado continued to push for an equalizer, it was evident how much the air deflated out of the team after the injury. The final blow came in the 82nd minute as the Loons took the lead. The Loons earned a dangerous free kick opportunity off of a foul and subsequent yellow card from Ralph Priso. On the ensuing free kick, substitute Franco Fragapane’s attempt found the head of Miguel Tapias, who flicked it past Yarbrough to make it 2-1.
Colorado searched for an equalizer as Kévin Cabral came on to create a last-second push, but the team couldn’t find an answer and the full-time whistle sounded after 100 minutes of action.
“We’re close in a lot of areas, but in a way, that’s us right now,” Fraser said. “Meaning, we have really good moments and we have really bad moments and right now our bad moments are overcoming our good moments. … We’re trying to get to a point where we’re consistently having good moments on top of good moments. That level of consistency is something we need, and we need to get to.”
Colorado (0-3-1, 1 point) will travel to Austin March 25 without key players on international duty in Darren Yapi and Rubio.
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