I never bought into the noise around last night’s fixture being against the worst team in MLS. Certainly Colorado’s record across the whole season, bears comparison with the basement clubs, but since Conor Casey replaced Anthony Hudson twelve games ago, the Rapids have been in play-off form, if not in play-off positions.
They’re 6-3-3 over their last 12, while the Impact are 4-1-7. And they were at home so justifiably wore the favourites tag.
That does not excuse a humbling performance from the bleu/blanc/noir, lacking in guts, organization and effort.
A win would have seen the Impact leap-frog over New York City who were surprisingly beaten at Real Salt Lake, and put daylight between them and nearest challengers New England Revolution and Toronto FC, each of whom lost on 0-2 verdicts.
Now Orlando, courtesy of a 2-0 success over FC Dallas have crept to within 4 points of Montreal, with a game less played. Chicago Fire, through a Nemanja Nikolic goal away to the other Texan club, Houston Dynamo, won too, and they will also believe the play-offs remain a credible aspiration. The Fire sit six points back from the Impact, but the two sides meet next week in Illinois, another crucial game in the race for post-season soccer.
There’s one more game in the East this evening to round off the weekend’s action when DC United entertain Philadelphia Union, still smarting from last Saturday’s events at Stade Saputo.
A win for The Union will take them further out of reach for Montreal, but would keep DC United, a side that has yet to visit Stade Saputo in the run-in, within touching distance. DCU sit three points ahead of the Impact and will be level on games after tonight’s match-up.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference yesterday, Atlanta United were establishing yet another new attendance record. They defeated LA Galaxy 3-0, with the help of two own goals and a Josef Martinez penalty in front of 72,548, a record for an MLS regular season game.