Philadelphia opened its 2012 home campaign with a disappointing loss to Colorado.
The teams played an exciting first stanza with Philadelphia getting most of the opportunities, mainly through third-year forward Danny Mwanga. The former first overall pick had two very good chances to put the Union ahead but was unable to finish.
Colorado began to gain a foothold in the match in the second half and was quickly able to open the scoring, only 11 minutes into the period. Omar Cummings was able send a lofted ball into the box that was mishandled by Zac MacMath. The spilled ball fell right to Castrillon who deposited from six yards to put the Rapids ahead.
Merely two minutes later the match took another twist as a late tackle from Larentowicz warranted a second yellow card from referee Mark Geiger, ending the midfielder's afternoon.
Not phased by the disadvantage in numbers, Colorado quickly struck again in the 62nd minute through Cascio. A fast break that left the Union surprisingly undermanned at the back allowed the rookie from UConn to break down the left and fire low and hard past a sprawled MacMath, who despite deflecting the shot with his legs, couldn't keep it out of the net.
The second half scoring continued less than 10 minutes later as a second ball from a corner kick came back to the taker, Roger Torres, who whipped it back into the box to an unmarked Lionard Pajoy, who in turn nodded home to cut the visitors' lead in half.
Philadelphia frantically pushed for an equalizer in the closing stages of the second half but wasn't able to put the finishing touches on the comeback.
The Union next match is away at Chicago on March 24th, while Colorado will return to the East Coast for a match with the New York Red Bulls on the 25th.