In the end it was like every other game from San Jose’s unexpected run to the playoffs. The Quakes were outmanned and outplayed for 90 minutes, playing at high altitude and in bitter, freezing cold. But tireless defending and heroic goalkeeping kept them in the game. Colorado controlled the ball, they created more chances and better chances, and fully earned the win. But as the game wound down there was always the chance that Chris Wondolowski would find another goal out of nowhere, that a streaking Bobby Convey could smash in a rebound. But this time the key strike wasn’t there and San Jose’s season came to a close.
Kosuke Kimura and Omar Cummings were the clear players of the game. Frequently working on concert, Kimura supplied fantastic crosses and through balls to Rapid attackers, and Cumming’s speed frequently caused panic for San Jose defenders. It was his lurking presence that turned a relatively standard Kimura cross into the only goal, as Jon Busch had to account for Cummings as the ball surprisingly straying into the goal. Kimura also played sound defense, and his close out on a fantastic through ball to Ryan Johnson denied one of San Jose’s best chances.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for San Jose. Even in defeat this season marked a major step forward for a franchise attempted to revive itself as an expansion team. San Jose found a formula that allowed it to compete against even the most talented teams in MLS, and with a new stadium on the way and ownership apparently committed to building a winning team there’s no reason to expect less in 2011. Personnel decisions will have to be made – choosing a goalkeeper between Jon Busch and Joe Cannnon, strengthening midfield, finding more production at forward – but this is a team with a good foundation for success.