Union Victimized by Colorado's Home Dominance

Philadelphia the latest club to be downed in Commerce City

There has been a distinct homefield advantage for the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

The Union found that out in a tough 4-1 loss Wednesday night.

Colorado (11-7-8) have been virtually unbeatable at home with an 8-1-4 mark, including a 10-game undefeated streak. The Rapids had also recorded shutout wins against their last four opponents at home. 

In 2005, Colorado registered five consecutive home clean sheets (534 scoreless minutes between goals). Philadelphia rookie Jack McInerney snapped the Rapids 2010 streak at 517 minutes by scoring in the 90th minute. It was his third goal this season – all of which have come on the road. 

The last opposing team to get on the board in Commerce City was FC Dallas on July 31, through an own goal by the Rapids’ Julien Baudet. The last visiting team player to score was Kansas City’s Davy Arnaud on July 17.

In addition, the Rapids are very tough to beat when they score first. They’re now 11-0-5 this season when tallying first.

That’s exactly what Omar Cummings did when he notched the first of his two goals in the eighth minute. Cummings scored his 12th of the season off a corner kick in the 15th minute.

The two goals was enough offense for the Rapids on this night, but Wells Thompson added the third goal in the 68th minute while Quincy Amarikwa scored in the 86th minute to cap off the rout.

“This was one of those times when we knew we were going to be challenged and (had to) come in here and try to match the energy of the Rapids,” said Union Coach John Hackworth. “And tonight we honestly did not have it in any facet of the game. We did not play up to our ability tonight.”

Philadelphia (7-13-6) had been 3-1-1 in its last five games, highlighted by an impressive 3-0 victory over Chivas USA last Saturday at PPL Park.

But the Union struggled to get much going against the Rapids.

“They came out strong and locked it down defensively,” said defender Danny Califf. “Obviously, if you get two chances in the box and score two goals it will put them on the right foot. There is probably nothing to take from this game. Once you give up two early goals, you start to chase the game and you are forced to play with a lot more risk than you would normally play with.”

The Union played without forward Danny Mwanga (shoulder) and midfielder Eduardo Coudet (right calf). Both were listed as questionable heading into the match.

Still, the Union have been winning lately with complete team play. After going without a league shutout in the first 22 matches, the club put together two clean sheets within a three-match stretch before traveling to Colorado. 

On Wednesday, however, the backline looked more like they did earlier in the season.

The good news is that the Union won't have to wait long to bounce back, with a match Saturday against the Houston Dynamo at PPL Park.