Lousy performance leads to 4-2 preseason defeat to Colorado Rapids
Aside from the obvious, there is another reason why the Colorado Rapids are ranked first in the Bleacher Report Preseason MLS Power Rankings and why MLSSoccer.com may be jumping the gun in its own rendition.
It's called consistency.
Gary Smith's defending MLS Cup champs looked like they had not missed a beat from their successful campaign last year, as they defeated Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy 4-2.
Conor Casey looked as if his form from 2010 didn't change much, as he scored a brace in the 19th and 25th minutes for Colorado.
Also scoring for the Rapids were Caleb Folan in the 76th minute and Stephen Emory in the 79th minute. Emory was also responsible for Folan's goal.
Landon Donovan scored on a penalty kick in the 58th minute, while Adam Cristman evened the tally at 2-2 in the 64th minute off a delivery from Frankie Hejduk.
Up next for the Galaxy will be a couple of matches against the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps.
Donovan puts on brave face in spite of setback
Despite the Galaxy getting their first taste of humble pie, Donovan put the whole Arizona camp in perspective.
“We always feel like this is a team that should be very competitive,” he said. “There’s no reason we shouldn’t be optimistic.
“There’s an old adage: if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. But there is something nice about having fresh faces, having young faces in there, guys who are really hungry to make an impact. And to have young guys who got a lot of minutes last year and now have another year under their belts.
“Then having some older guys who understand what it takes to win in this league. Between Juan Pablo, Frankie and Chad, they’ve been around some good teams over the years, and they know what it takes to win.
“I think we certainly got deeper, and all things considered we got younger, and I think we got more competitive, and I think we’re going to need that with our schedule this year.
“I think I’ll feel more refreshed in a couple of weeks as we get a little deeper in and I fully get my legs under me,” Donovan said. “But it is nice to be starting from square one.
"In the past, to use the soccer game as an analogy, in the past I felt like I was starting in the first third or the middle third of the season every year. I felt like I was always trying to maintain enough strength and stability to get me through the season.
“This year, I have the opportunity to build my body the right way, get myself prepared the right way, not only endure a long season but be successful at a high level throughout the entire season and not fade at the end of the year."
Of course, a win against the team at the top couldn't hurt, either. But could this defeat turn out to be nothing more than a ruse...or is it really a flesh wound?