Colorado Rapids dropped a 2-1 decision that fought hard against New York City FC on Saturday night but according to Rapids head coach Conor Casey, the referee's crew was mistaken in awarding a NYCFC winning goal in the 83rd minute.
In that match, NYCFC midfielder Maxi Moralez brought the ball over the center line, then launched the ball from above to Ronald Matarrita. Central defender Lalas Abubakar could only get a head on it to break the game, but the ball fell to Alexandru Mitrita, who took the touch to set himself before curling a shot from distance past Clint Irwin in the Colorado goal.
According to Casey, officials missed an offside call on Matarrita in an early pass from Moralez.
"I saw a long ball with offsides," Casey said in his postgame comment. "Lalas had to deal with a header and then the ball fell to someone else and no offside was called."
Irwin, who replaced injured goalkeeper Tim Howard just before halftime, was also involved.
"For me as a goalkeeper, I might have the worst angle for an offside call because of where I am," he said. "But many men say when they come that they think so [Matarrita] was behind the game and challenged Lalas to the ball and if that was the case, it had to be offside because Lalas had to play it and lead it. From there they took the second ball and were able to fire a good shot. "
The winner of the match and injury to Howard were two of the few moments in the game which Casey felt did not go their way, the most famous being the red card in the 33rd minute for Rapids midfielder Sebastian Anderson. The 16-year-old Homegrown signing, who only made his fifth MLS appearance, previously bagged his first pro goal to give Colorado excellence, but was seen blushing after a failed match at Matarrita resulted in midfielder Chris Penso grabbing his back pocket without hesitation.
"He was unlucky on a red card," Casey said of Anderson's expulsion. "This is a rash call, very fast for a 16-year-old player who has incised a player. I think he is very good. Unfortunately he was released. Obviously, with a good goal for him. The 16-year-old 20-minute goal scorer was very impressive."
Regardless of the difficulties they face, Casey – who has overseen the mini-revival for the Rapids since taking over as interim head coach on May 1 – was pleased with how his charges fought.
"Given the fact that there is a big difference in the call, the fact that we can still fight and get a chance in the end, I am very proud of this group of players."
He then added: "You can say that this team is together, they are fighting for each other. These people trust each other. They fight until the last minute and we are still close to getting points in the end. So [I’m] very proud of them. "