The Colorado Rapids drew for the second straight match late Saturday night, coming home from San Jose with a 1-1 result. Kei Kamara headed down an 81st-minute corner kick from Cole Bassett to equalize late in the first of four matches over a 12-day period.
Here are three observations as the Rapids remain winless since the MLS restart:
Diego Rubio has started six straight games for the Rapids, but has not scored in his last 11 shots. He even wore the captain’s armband in San Jose with Jack Price coming off the bench.
Meanwhile, Andre Shinyashiki has started in 10 of the Rapids’ last 14 games dating back to last year. Three of the games he didn’t crack the XI because he was hurt. Yet Shinyashiki has also struggled to produce, with his last goal coming against the Sounders last season.
Bassett started his second straight game and once again played well. He was on set-piece duty with Price benched and the Rapids tallied their first set-piece goal since March. It was the third goal off a restart for Colorado this year, which is down from 2019 when the Rapids bagged a league-best 19 set-piece goals.
“We feel like we create dangerous chances off of set pieces,” Robin Fraser said. “But I don’t think about how we score goals, just that we score them. Our team’s confidence on set pieces is unwavering.”
Nonetheless, the Rapids aren’t scoring many goals now. The 11 they’ve netted this season is third-worst in the Western Conference. Bassett’s two assists in two weeks have been a nice spark, but it’s not enough.
“We have to put away our chances early on,” Bassett said. “… I think we’re starting to create a bit more chances than we were. But we got to be clinical in the final third.”
The Rapids fell into a tie for last place in the west. Only Chicago and expansion-sides Miami and Nashville have fewer points than Colorado, which is tied with San Jose and Vancouver at the bottom of the table. But there is hope: The Whitecaps have played one more game and all three are just two points from the eighth and final playoff spot. This is the fourth straight season that the Rapids have spent time in last place.
“We did a number of things to create decent opportunities and I thought, for the most part, we defended quite well and made it difficult for them to create chances,” Fraser said of Saturday’s effort. “For me, it’s a good night. It’s a successful night.
“We certainly feel like we could have won the game.”
Kamara netted his 129th MLS goal and is now four away from tying MLS-legend Jaime Moreno (133) for the fourth-most goals in league history. Unfortunately for the Rapids striker, he got no closer to first as MLS all-time leading scorer Chris Wondolowski scored his 162nd career goal on a penalty kick. The two have dueled before, but with each over 35 this might be the last time we see The Headmaster and Wondo each tally again in the same match.