After coming off what team manager Peter Nowak called the team's top performance of the year, the Union put together one of their most disappointing showings during Wednesday's 4-1 Major League Soccer loss at Colorado to the Rapids.
The loss virtually eliminated the Union from playoff contention. The Union are 7-13-6, for 27 points. They have four games remaining, so the most they can earn is 39 points. Eight teams will qualify for the playoffs.
Seattle and San Jose are tied for seventh with 39 points. That would mean the Union would have to win all four games, San Jose and Seattle would have to lose their final five and four games, respectively, and other teams such as Kansas City, Chicago, and Toronto, which are in front of the Union but not in the top eight, would have to also falter down the stretch.
The Union's lone bright spot was a goal by 18-year-old Jack McInerney in the 90th minute that averted the shutout. It was his third goal of the season.
"Jack McInerney's goal at the end of the game was well taken," Union assistant coach John Hackworth told reporters afterward. "Other than that, though, that is not our team, to be fair."
Hackworth said the Union were simply unable to match the energy of the Rapids.
"We honestly did not have it in any fashion of the game," Hackworth said. "We did not play to our ability."
The Union, who were coming off Saturday's impressive 3-0 win over visiting Chivas USA, won't have much time to rebound. They play host to the Houston Dynamo (7-14-4) in Saturday's 4 p.m. game at PPL Park.
Against Colorado, Brad Knighton started in goal for the fourth consecutive game. It will be interesting to see if Nowak gives Chris Seitz another chance in the final four games of the season.
Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.