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.
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.
Colorado is one of three teams in the league to keep clean sheets in the first half of three of four games, along with Seattle and Nashville.
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.
However, the 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. 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.
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This is horrible to see. Jack Price has to be carried off the pitch. #Rapids96 pic.twitter.com/HNAxepNbCk
— Brendan Ploen (@BrendanPloen) March 19, 2023
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.
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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