The problems of the 2016 edition of Vancouver Whitecaps FC are well documented. At its most basic level, the 'Caps are having trouble scoring goals, and preventing them; but a better summary might be to say that they are finding ways of turning wins into draws, and draws into losses.
Tonight, it was Axel Sjöberg who broke the supporters' hearts. Sjöberg as you may recall, was the 14th pick in 2015, exactly one spot behind Vancouver's Tim Parker.
After tonight's result, Parker has still scored one more goal than Sjöberg, collected four fewer yellow cards (none of which were in the same match), while playing the equivalent of almost 18 more games. But if tangents like that are any indication, it's becoming harder and harder to find some silver linings.
Sjöberg scored in the fourth minute of an improbable five minutes of stoppage time as the ten-man Rapids squad managed to extend their unbeaten streak to 13 games.
If you're suffering from a mild case of déjà vu, that's probably because Will Johnson managed a similar fate last week for Toronto FC in the CSA Cup Final. For the record, Johnson's goal came in the fifth minute of four minutes of stoppage time. So, at least now they're conceding in the intended amount of stoppage time, though even we'd hesitate to call that a silver lining.
The Whitecaps earned a point on Saturday night, but to anyone in the building, well, to anyone save for the six visiting members of Centennial 38, it felt like a loss.
"It's a lack of composure, a lack of finishing off the games," said Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted. "Today they were a better team most of the game, but we scrapped it out.
"At the end of the day, when you are up 2–1 four minutes into [stoppage time], we need to see the games out."
"We just have to cut out the errors," added manager Carl Robinson. "Football lasts for 90+ minutes.
In Vancouver's last two home games, "we have been bitten on the backside a little by conceding in the last minute. Until the whistle blows, you have to keep your concentration levels."
Vancouver looked to have had three points in hand when Cristian Techera broke the deadlock in the 87th minute, after Colorado's Jared Watts hauled him down from behind.
They had the lead, they had a man advantage from the 71st minute, thanks to Eric Miller earning himself a straight red for a particularly hard tackle on Vancouver captain Pedro Morales, but they couldn't see it through to the final whistle.
Earlier, Kevin Doyle had scored for Colorado in the 59th minute, and Kendall Waston for Vancouver in the 10th.
The Rapids are battling for the league, and it showed. They had 60% of the ball, forced Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted to make 7 saves, and put a lot of pressure on Vancouver's backline.
"I don't think we deserved to win the game," said an honest Robinson. "I think Colorado deserved the credit the way it panned out."
"With us conceding the goal in the last minute, I was disappointed, but I think it was a fair result."
"The game of [football] is riddled with different moments that have you riding an emotional roller coaster," said Colorado manager Pablo Mastroeni.
"For a good part of the 70 minutes I thought we played some of our best stuff all year. We moved the ball well, defended well, didn't let them get in rhythm. Overall a draw might be a fair result."
Worryingly, the Whitecaps have now allowed two or more goals in six of their last seven matches.
"It's very disturbing," said Ousted. "Right now, we are still searching for the answer."
The 'Caps don't have much time to find it, as they have league matches to play on Wednesday (Salt Lake) and Saturday (Orlando), before a Tuesday night friendly with Crystal Palace.
And they may have to do it without the services of Kekuta Manneh, who came off before half time, and was seen on crutches, with his right foot in a boot, after the match.