Previewing this game, we talked about how San Jose’s tactical similarity to Toronto hinted today’s game in Commerce City, Colo., could play out like the Rapids’ visit to Ontario. For much of the match, that’s exactly what happened. Colorado had the better of possession against an opponent that naturally assumed a more opportunistic approach, leaving a Rapids’ team solidified by its move to a diamond midfield in a position to craft a late winner.
But whereas last week’s match saw one spell of creativity from Dillons Serna and Powers create Edson Buddle’s late goal, Saturday’s best chance came in the opening minute when Alan Gordon headed Shea Salinas’s corner off the cross-bar. The Earthquakes came close again near the end of the first half when Chris Wondolowski was left unmarked at the edge of the six, missing with what the last good chance of the match. Combining for one shot on target, Colorado and San Jose played out a 0-0 draw.
That only shot, one from outside the San Jose area, saw rookie Jared Watts force a stop from Jon Busch. For the rest of the match, however, a Rapids team held at arm’s length at the top of the Earthquakes penalty area failed to trouble the San Jose keeper. Though Dillon Powers gave the visitors a scare just after half time, Busch’s services were rarely needed.
The same could be said for Clint Irwin. Though San Jose created the game’s best chances, for most of the game Mark Watson’s team was kept quiet, rarely threatening to break through for its first win of the season. When, 10 minutes from time, San Jose began hinting they’d be Goonies once more, they soon went down a man. A straight red card for Adam Jahn three minutes after coming on left San Jose holding out for a draw.
That effort gets the Earthquakes their third draw, one that rewards another decent if unspectacular performance. Unfortunately, with a zero in the win column, the view from a distance tells a different, slightly misleading story. The actual play hints the Earthquakes may be an average MLS team, yet they’re tied with Montréal for the fewest points in Major League Soccer.
Seven weeks into the season, the picture is much kinder to Colorado. Though the Rapids were held to a draw at home by the West’s cellar dweller, the Rapids temporarily moved into second in the West. They’re take a three-match unbeaten streak into CenturyLink next week.