COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Colorado Rapids are on a seven-game winless streak. In a double game week, they lost a tough game at Columbus Crew where they scored in the first ten minutes. Then they hosted San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday. They played well, but a 51st minute red card to Moïse Bombito killed their momentum and the match ended 0-0. Head Coach Robin Fraser had constructive criticism for the referees after both matches. Those comments, which he’s yet to be publicly fined for, speak to where the Rapids are right now in form and luck.
Thirty minutes into the Crew game, Jonathan Lewis gets in behind and goes shoulder-to-shoulder with Philip Quinton. Lewis goes down, maybe a bit easily, with no other defenders back. Tori Penso did not call a foul. Certainly if it was a foul, it would have also been a DOGSO red card. Quinton was subbed off at halftime for Sean Zawadzki, who scored a goal. Columbus went on to win 3-2.
Fraser said after the match he did not get much of an explanation from the fourth official and as a result did not push. He was adamant that if it was a foul, a red card should also have been given.
“I can rant a rave and scream like an idiot”, he told Last Word, adding “I don’t want to keep being that guy that yells at referees.
On the following Saturday, Bombito was given two relatively soft yellow cards. The second was for a tactical foul where he won the ball, but had to make contact with the opponent to do so. PRO described the play as stopping a promising attack when asked pool reporter questions.
“The foul was deemed to have stopped a promising attack, which is a point of emphasis for the 2023 season.”
A follow up question was asked about what defined the attack as promising.
“If not for the foul, the attacking player has space and options to continue on a promising attack.”
The Rapids had been the better team up to that point. Going down a man allowed the Quakes to get more control and see out the result.
Michael Barrios went down in the box later in that half and was immediately given a yellow card for simulation by Sergii Boiko. VAR got involved and after a visit to the monitor, Boiko awarded a penalty and rescinded the card. Connor Ronan proceeded to miss the penalty.
“I just have so much frustration. Last (game), we have a referee who’s clearly afraid to change a game so she doesn’t call a stone cold 100% red card. And then this week we have a referee who’s dying to change the game. And he calls for me is an impossible red card call. So quick to jump to the yellow card for (Barrios) when it’s actually a penalty. The frustration is huge”, said Fraser after the San Jose game.
“Tonight we’re playing really well and you just feel like the referee is just dying to make a change and make an impression and he kind of seemed that way all night.”
Colorado Rapids are not playing well right now. They’re also not getting much luck nor creating enough luck. Frustration for all of these things are building. Much of it is valid. For Fraser and the Burgundy Boys, they most of all need a win.
Photo Credit: John A. Babiak @Photog_JohnB.
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