First Impressions -- Colorado Rapids 3 : 0 D.C. United
I suppose the major debate is whether United lost this match or Colorado won it, and the easy answer is both. Fatigue was a factor, altitude was a factor. It showed up in obvious ways like tired legs and players running out of gas. It showed more poignantly mentally: United could not execute this match at all. Colorado's second and third goals resulted from some lapses, from Avery John's back pass/through ball to Cummings, and to Jakovic missed trap that forced him the wrong way. That being said, Colorado's first goal was well executed by Cummings, as he makes a strong run, stays on his feet over Janicki's tackle, and fires far post by Wicks. And once Colorado had that edge, all else was preordained.
There are bright things to consider. It was nice to Olsen on the field in something other than a token role. Boyzzz again showed life and energy in exactly the way N'Silu did not. But the match itself was like watching a tax audit -- it was tedious and you felt at some point United would pay through the nose, and sure enough Cummings would pop up with the ball at his feet saying "now, about this receipt here..."
The shift to start the match in a 4-4-2 was interesting, but it felt like a line-up that may have been more suited to the previous match against Seattle. Throwing Olsen on the right in his first match back seemed to ask a great deal, and Simms and Gomez found linking up difficult. We can complain about Janicki if you desire, but I can't imagine that any other back four performs better in this match.
Write it off, pay the bill, and cross out the footnote that said "United has yet to lose after conceding the first goal."