Sunday's announced Allianz Field audience of 19,027 was shy of a sellout in a stadium in that's come to expect them. The south-goal "Wonderwall" didn't reverberate with its usual noise during a 3-1 loss to Colorado.
And there was no victorious singing of Oasis' 1995 hit, of course.
Loons coach Adrian Heath called himself "too preoccupied" to notice during a game which some supporters stayed away because there's no proof of vaccine requirement at Allianz Field.
"All I know is, the people who were here couldn't have done much more for us," Heath said. "They've done their bit. We didn't do enough on the field."
The Loons scored the game's first goal — and their only one — on Adrien Hunou's left-footed strike in the eight minute. Colorado scored three times within 20 second-half minutes, all of them when the Rapids played a man short because of defender Danny Wilson's 56th-minute red card.
"I honestly couldn't tell much of a difference," Loons midfielder Ethan Finlay said. "I thought the people that were there were loud and into the game. We didn't give them enough to cheer about, to be honest. So if it was quieter than normal, that probably was a little bit on us. There was an opportunity tonight to be the totally opposite scoreline.
"This could have been 3- or 4-nothing win for us. The players and the team at times have to drive the fans and the drive the excitement. I don't think we did that quite enough tonight."
The Loons played on without five players gone to play World Cup qualifiers or other international competition for their national teams. Hunou started up top for Robin Lod, who is playing World Cup qualifiers for his Finland team. D.J. Taylor and Brent Kallman started on the backline for Romain Metanire (Madagascar) and Michael Boxall (New Zealand).
Finlay didn't call the absences a reason for Sunday's defeat.
"Not at all,"Finlay said. "Of course, having more players available would have helped us this evening. But this group was more than capable of winning that game."
Upon further review…
Colorado scored the first of their three second-half goals on Cole Bassett's penalty kick in the 73rd minute. Midfielder Michael Barrios set it up by drawing a tripping penalty on Loons goalkeeper Tyler Miller in the six-yard box — but only after a video review determined so.
Finlay answered honestly when asked about what he saw.
"In real time to me, it looked like a penalty," he said. "When it wasn't called [by the referee] and they did go to VAR, I thought it was going to be a PK. It's such a preventable play. We let a guy get into the box and at that point, you've got to stay off them a little bit."
Right at home
MLS' All-Star Game, it was announced last week, will be coming to Allianz Field, just a few long free kicks away from where Loons chief soccer officer Manny Lagos was raised, first near Central High School and then near Macalester College.
"It's surreal to me," he said. "I get chills every time I think I walked to this strip mall for years, how I thought this empty parking lot could have been something someday. To be involved in it, I'm so excited for how we can promote this sport to the community and the nation and the world."