Okay . . . your grain of salt, should you decide to accept it, is that my reaction is based upon radio play-by-play, video highlights, match statistics, and not much else. That said, it should be patently obvious that United's performance wasn't good enough. So, what's wrong? Again, remembering that grain of NaCl mentioned above . . .
* We never win in Colorado. Yes, that's a crappy cop-out, and one that's wearing a bit thin. Are our players going into these matches expecting to lose? If they are, I want them on the next plane out. So let's ignore the "Mile High Hoodoo" for a moment, shall we?
* I keep wanting to trust Soehn because things came together last year, but my eroding faith is just about down to bedrock. Not much hope grows in bedrock. I'm getting the worrying feeling that I'm on a bus, and the driver's got his eyes fixed on his dash-mounted GPS rather than the 30-car pileup a half-mile up the road and approaching fast. "Hey guys, this setup worked for us at home against a team with no midfield creativity and no width! Let's do the same thing on the road against a team with a proven All-Star midfield dynamo and some decent wide players!" Jumpin' Jeebus on a pogo stick, man! Everybody knows that a burrow owl lives in a hole in the ground! Why the hell do you think they call it a burrow owl, anyway?! And while were at it, how about a little locker room motivation? Which leads us to . . .
* The Bearded Bombardier is gone . . . long live the Bearded Bombardier. Even if Olsen makes a Lazarus-like recovery and gets back on the field this year, it won't be till late on. By then, we could be on the outside of the playoffs looking in with no time to make a late run. Panic mode? Already? The lights are certainly flashing their asses off. Who's going to step up and be the growling beast that kicks, claws, scratches, and gets us going again? Peralta seemed to have the signs pointing at his head early in the season, but he doesn't have Benny's history with the club, isn't exactly playing fantastically at the moment, and hasn't shown any signs of such behavior recently.
* Outshot more than three-to-one by a Clavijo side? For a team with our supposed attacking prowess? Against that defense? In front of listless support? Puh-lease! Not even worth a comment.
* I not ashamed to say that I love Christian Gomez, even as he's burning my house down about my ears. I'm sure I could grow to admire Gallardo as a player, but more in the way one admires a transcendent and technically proficient orchestral performance, but then slips in the earbuds for some snarling three-chord punk bliss during the intermission.
It's time to officially get worried. While I'm not surprised we didn't get a win, I did expect a draw or a battling loss at the very least. The "we need time to gel" and "ooh the scary altitude" excuses don't wash. If we can't put up a fight on the road against the likes of Colorado, what hope do we have against the likes of Saprissa and Pachuca when it comes to our supposed continental ambitions?
I know, I know, I know--MLS is all about the parity, and some clubs are surprisingly competitive this year. I can accept that we won't storm out to a big lead and dispose of all comers. What concerns me is that we should be good enough to be in the middle of the pack. As it is, we're trailing behind, licking our wounds, and generally looking dispirited and miserable. We'd better show up Thursday ready to fight. If not, it may be time to break out Madame Guillotine.