Jorge Dely Valdes scores with 30 seconds remaining to lift Colorado 1-0.
The script is becoming a familiar one.
Game opens with the Mutiny looking sharp, then comes an injury to a defender, followed by an ejection, then, in the final climatic moment, a late goal and another loss.
This time, Colorado forward Jorge Dely Valdes played the starring role, heading in a Kevin Anderson cross from 8 yards out with 30 seconds left to lead the Rapids to a 1-0 win before 9,651 at Raymond James Stadium.
It is the third 90th-minute goal Tampa Bay has allowed this season.
The Mutiny remained in fourth place in the East, one point ahead of New England. Tampa Bay plays at New England on Wednesday night.
The win did not come without controversy. On the winning goal, it appeared Colorado forward Darren Sawatzky was offsides when Anderson crossed the ball. The linesman's flag did not go up, however, and Dely Valdes was free to line a header into the right side of the net.
"This is not the first time that a blown call has cost us," coach Tim Hankinson said. "We had the same thing down in Miami (a 3-2 shootout loss in which Miami appeared offsides on a late goal). Offsides is often talked about as the most confusing rule in the sport. But to a linesman, it is a very clear issue. You either are or you are not. A professional referee has got to call that."
That wasn't the only controversial call. In the 34th minute, Mutiny defender Manny Lagos cleared a Paul Bravo shot off the line.
Bravo got the rebound and sent another ball at the net. Lagos was scrambling to get up, and the shot hit his hand and bounded away.
Lagos was called for an intentional handball, which is an automatic red card and a penalty kick. He will not play Wednesday at New England.
Scott Garlick saved Dely Valdes' penalty kick, but the Mutiny played a man down for the rest of the match. It's the fourth red card in the past six matches for Tampa Bay and the seventh this season. The Mutiny is 2-5 when playing a man down and has been outscored 14-5.
"It was amazing to me," Lagos said of the red card. "I thought he was backing off a bit, and then he pulls out the red. I was very disappointed."
Both teams suffered key losses in the first half. In the 28th minute, Mutiny midfielder Dominic Kinnear was lost for the game, and perhaps longer, when he collided with Dely Valdes.
Kinnear leapt to challenge a Wolde Harris cross and strained his neck when Dely Valdes bumped him from behind. Kinnear was sent to Memorial Hospital for X-rays, which were negative.
"We don't really know (if he'll play Wednesday)," Hankinson said.
In the 42nd minute, Colorado midfielder Ross Paule collided with Mutiny defender Ritchie Kotschau, who replaced Kinnear. Both players went up for a ball, and Kotschau inadvertantly elbowed Paule in the eye.
Paule, who missed the past three games with a sprained knee, suffered a concussion and a fractured cheek bone.
SALCEDO TO L.A.: The Mutiny traded midfielder Jorge Salcedo to Los Angeles for midfielder Daniel Hernandez. Salcedo played 16 games and had one assist. Hernandez, 23 and in his second season,played 12 games and started nine. Friday was the league's trading deadline.