Saturday, July 4, 2015

Will The Offense Find Their Fireworks?

Rapids Need To Boom Not Bust

The second half of the season starts tonight with the annual 4th of July party in Commerce City.  At least we have one of the remaining two teams we've beaten since last 4th of July as the opponent, the Whitecaps.  As always a sellout plus crowd is expected for the game and as always it won't include me as I celebrate my wedding anniversary.  Game time is 7pm with fireworks after the game.  The tailgate starts at 4 with Made-Rite sandwiches on the menu.  For those of us who won't make it Fleming and 'Celo will have the call on Altitude.

Injury Report:
OUT: D Axel Sjoberg (Knee); MF Juan Ramirez (hamstring)

ONE YELLOW FROM SUSPENSION: D Bobby Burling (2 games left for good behavior reduction)

International Absences:
F Gabriel Torres (Panama's Gold Cup squad)

Vancouver is down 3 players so we're  in slightly better shape.  Of course with Pablo's random lineups I have no reall idea who will start, but here's my guess:

But really, who knows.

Strategic Consideration: Score a goal, then score another.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Sarvas.  I can't predict a win for this team at this point, but I think the home crowd will be enough to avoid a loss.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Anyone Home In Commerce City?

Two and a half weeks ago I posted about how it was time for a change in leadership.  Since then the Rapids beat Colorado Springs in the USOC, drew Dallas 1-1, lost to Orlando and KC 2-0, and lost to Houston in the USOC last night 1-0.  In 6 games in June we scored 5 goals, 4 of them against the USL Switchbacks, with 1 win (again the Switchbacks), 2 draws, and 3 losses.  Things aren't getting better.

Yet not only in June but essentially all season we've heard nothing from the Front Office.  While this team sets records for futility and is on pace for the worst season in team history the only public comments are the ridiculous post-game platitudes from Pablo.  This is a noticeable change from prior years where both Paul Bravo and Tim Hinchey made efforts to interact with the fans and media.

MLS front offices are generally pretty good about at least making public comments, even if they don't really amount to much.  You've got Merritt Paulson in Portland, Robb Heineman in KC, and de Grandpre in NY to name a few.  They don't always communicate well but they know the importance of showing that there's an effort being made to improve.  Meanwhile we get nothing out of the Front Office during the lowest point Rapids fans have been at in years.

In October we heard a lot from the Front Office about how things were going to be different this year.  One of the things Tim Hinchey was specifically asked about in that Q&A at the Celtic was the communication from the Front Office, something he said they were working on and that they would invest in.  Apparently it still needs work.  And quoting Tim again:
 We aim to be a well run club that competes in every competition and has the success we want
If this is a "well run club that competes in every competition"" I'd hate to see a poorly run club.  Things are certainly different this year, they're worse.  We're out of the USOC and essentially out of the playoff race at the midpoint of the season.

With season ticket renewals starting in 6 weeks or so the Front Office needs to give us a reason to keep buying tickets.  Right now it appears that they're satisfied with the awful results which makes me wonder why I should bother investing in this team.

I know my posts are read in Commerce City (Hi Tim!) so this is a call to them.  Show us you're paying attention and care about this team.

Monday, June 29, 2015

After A Week Off, Nothing Has Changed

I took the last week off and went on vacation to Orlando.  That included seeing the Rapids play Orlando City.  Kind of wish I hadn't after the performance.  They repeated the performance against KC.
Taken from Burgundy Wave's twitter

The bottom half of that shot was the pitiful attack in the 28th minute of the KC game.  And that wasn't immediately after a turnover, Solignac dribbled the ball into the box from near midfield.

After that, I'm done.  That shows how much of a mess of a team this is.  We're never going to score and never going to win if that's the team's mentality.  We need a major change.  #PabloOut

The Rapids are in Houston tomorrow for their Round of 16 U.S. Open Cup match.  Game time is 6:30pm and there will be a stream online at the Rapids website.

Man of the Match: Clint Irwin for Orlando, Luis Solignac for KC.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Another Game, Another Draw

That was bad soccer and they should feel bad about making us pay for it.

General impressions:
  • Backline of Riley - Burling - Watts - Moor.  Pablo, WTF are you thinking?  Only Dallas' woeful shooting saved us from a loss.
  • Moor was not the captain, Cronin was.  Moor was played out of position.  That worries me.
  • Drew Moor was listed at left back but was playing as a third center back to clean up Watts' mistakes.
  • So glad we went out and got Doyle signed and got him here early so he could spend 225 of the last 270 minutes of play on the bench.
  • Then when Doyle gets into the game Pablo moves Powers to the outside.  Once again it proved that Powers needs to play in the center.
  • Serna. Should. Play. Every. Game.
  • The Dallas keeper deserved a time-wasting yellow.  He did not deserve that time-wasting yellow though as he literally could not get a ball from anyone.  Poor decision from the official.
  • Clint Irwin badly botched the Dallas goal and I'm sure he knows that.  Nobody's perfect all the time.
  • This team doesn't look like it plays together during the week.  We see great individual skill and teammates who aren't expecting it.
  • Pablo didn't make a tactical change last night.  All his subs were like for like, the formation didn't change, and the style of play never changed.  He didn't coach the team at all beyond keeping an eye on fitness levels.  He is not a coach.
  • We now need to play at 1.63 pts/game the rest of the way to even think about the playoffs.
  • #PabloOut
Man of the Match: Dillon Serna.  He created most of the dangerous chances and scored the goal.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Final Time To See Dallas In 2015

Hard To Choose Between This And MLS Cup

Barring a playoff matchup (yeah, right) this is our last look at Dallas this year.  We've already gotten 4 points off of them in 2 games so this is a good chance to grab some more points.  Its really do or die time for the Rapids now and they can't afford not to win home games, especially with this being the second of six games in an 18 day span.  Kickoff tomorrow is at 7pm so the tailgate starts at 4, and the game will be on UniMas.

Injury Report:
OUT: D Axel Sjoberg (Knee); MF Juan Ramirez (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: MF Vicente Sanchez (hip flexor)

ONE YELLOW FROM SUSPENSION: M Sam Cronin (2 games left for good behavior reduction)

Missing Sjoberg and Ramirez is not good.  Dallas only has one player questionable so we'll get their full strength lineup.  My starting XI guess based on who we used on Tuesday:

Cronin is the only player in this XI that started on Tuesday and he was the first player subbed off.  Moor, Sarvas, and Solignac all came on as second half subs but didn't have to strain themselves much.  With Pittinari and LaBrocca going the full 90 on Tuesday I doubt they start and everyone else seems obvious.

Strategic Consideration: Figure out how to get Doyle and/or Solignac on the scoreboard.  They need to start producing ASAP.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Doyle.  A win is possible but I'm not ready to predict it.  Our defense is good enough to keep us in the game and Doyle finally opens his account to get us a draw.