COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Danny Allsopp's goal during first-half injury time lifted D.C. United to a 1-0 victory over Colorado on Saturday, ending the Rapids' home win streak and putting a hold on their charge to the playoffs.
"Tonight the performance and result is very, very disappointing," Rapids coach Gary Smith said. "We stuck a pin in what has otherwise been a good period of time."
The Rapids are fighting for playoff positioning, and after winning their last four home games by a combined 13-1, a struggling United team seemed to be another step toward the postseason. But United cashed in on their last chance of the first half for the only goal of the game.
Allsopp missed on a great chance in the 45th minute, but quickly capitalized on another opportunity. Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens, who had made two great saves to keep the game scoreless, made a diving stop on Andy Najar's crossing shot. The rebound came to Allsopp, who chipped it over Pickens to give United a 1-0 lead.
"I tried to make a save, just react, and the ball fell great for them and he did what you're supposed to do and poke it in," Pickens said. "If the half was about 10 seconds shorter we would have been fine going in 0-0 and having a shot in the second half."
United (6-18-3) controlled the play for most of the first half, outshooting Colorado 9-3.
"That's the worst performance, the poorest performance, team performance in a long, long time," Smith said.
Colorado's last four home victories were each by three goals. The Rapids (11-8-8) hadn't lost at home since falling to Los Angeles 1-0 on May 5, but couldn't extend the streak against a United team that had just two wins since June 10.
"Everything was clicking for us at home," Pickens said. "Tonight the effort was there it just didn't click like it had the last four games."
Pickens denied D.C. a goal in the 23rd minute when he tipped Pablo Hernandez's shot over the crossbar.
The Rapids took the play to United in the second half. Their best chance came in the 61st minute, when Omar Cummings, fresh off winning MLS player of the month honors, dribbled through two defenders and put a low shot on net that Troy Perkins stopped.
Drew Moor had another chance on a corner in 87th minute, but he redirected the ball wide of the goal.
The Rapids control their playoff fate but they have a tough final three games, starting with a visit to FC Dallas on Oct. 9. But 30 minutes after Saturday's loss, they were looking ahead.
"We didn't create enough," captain Pablo Mastroeni said. "We've got to get past this and get ready for Dallas."