On almost identical plays, the Rapids scored both their goals after Union defenders slipped on the pitch. Carlos Valdes' skid allowed Colorado forward Omar Cummings to send a cross into the box to a waiting Jaime Castrillon in the 56th minute. Although it looked as if Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath had a clean chance to snag it out of the air, the ball went through his hands and found Castrillon running onto his first MLS goal.
Six minutes later, defender Chris Albright also slipped, allowing forward Tony Cascio to pound the game-winner past MacMath from the outskirts of the 18-yard box with ease.
"I lost it in the sun a little bit; it was lofted up pretty high," MacMath said of Cummings' cross.
Albright, a Penn Charter graduate, made his debut for the Union in place of captain Danny Califf. Manager Peter Nowak said Califf was recovering from an offseason knee procedure. Albright, who played until the 62d minute, spoke about the play that allowed Cascio to cash in for Colorado's second goal.
"I got clipped, plain and simple," Albright said. "The referee obviously did not see it. I thought I had position. I don't swing and miss, ever. A lot of times you get that call because something obviously happened. I was really disappointed to not get that call."
Colorado's Pablo Mastroeni saw it differently.
"They did a good job of disrupting us, and their soccer was very fluid," the midfielder said. "Fortunately for us, the balls came to our guy and he did a good job finishing it."
The second-half inclusion of midfielder Roger Torres in the 62d minute allowed for the customary spark the Union receives whenever the diminutive midfielder steps onto the field. Just five minutes into his season debut, Torres found a diving Lionard Pajoy off a cross into the box.
Given, the Union effort looked miles better than the one that had fans moaning after the season-opening loss in Portland. But despite playing against a 10-man Rapids group after Colorado midfielder and Chestnut Hill Academy grad Jeff Larentowicz was sent off with his second yellow in the 58th minute, the Union still seek their first points of 2012.
Contact Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @sprtswtr