A rivalry game usually results in the players playing with more drive, passion, and desire than normal. After the first 5 minutes on Friday night we saw the opposite. The Rapids, with one notable exception, were flat for the remaining 85 minutes and lost 2-1, which was a generous socreline to Colorado.
- The game started well, with Gashi getting on a rebound of a Badji shot to give us an early 1-0 lead. Most Rapids fans had to feel pretty good about a draw (and retention of the Rocky Mountain Cup) at worst at that point.
- After that, we ceded all possession to FSL. We asked our defense to hold a 1-0 lead for 85 minutes. No surprise it didn't work.
- In the first 65 minutes of the game the Rapids out-possessed FSL for only one 5 minute period, from 30-35'. In that time we didn't get a single shot off.
- Not that our defense looked like it could have defended a lead for 15, much less 85 minutes. The ball-watching was criminal.
- Yura Movsisyan was unmarked all night. I don't know if the team was just falling down on their assignments or this was a strategic decision but whatever it was it was bad. Not surprisingly he got both FSL goals.
- I'll say this about the PK calls. Ball don't lie.
- The first call was a complete ghost call. No foul there at all. The second did have some contact from Miller but not any more that goes uncalled every week in this league.
- Miller had a particularly bad game BTW.
- How about that PK save from Tim? High point of the game and I was hoping we'd ride that emotional boost to a tying goal. Or not.
- The ref was letting a lot of gamesmanship from FSL go. hope Solo would approve.
- Pablo takes blame for some of this. Powers should not be starting over Azira. The midfield struggles to control possession with a Powers - Cronin back 2.
- His like for like subs and stubborn dedication to the 4-2-3-1 is also on him. Doyle is wasted up top with no help or a top flight midfield passer (like Jones) to feed him. We need a second striker.
- That said, the players have to take a large chink of responsibility for this game. I expect more, not less, from them in a rivalry match. Nobody outside of Howard acted like they wanted to be there.
- An example of how casual they were playing. In stoppage tie down a goal an attacking throw-in ended up being played all the way back to Howard. That's pitiful.
- That's a bit unfair to Gashi I guess. He was showing effort but you can't beat Rimando from distance without a lucky bounce like the first goal.
- Somehow we still had more shots on goal than them.
- This season was fun while it lasted but I'm pretty sure the bottom is about to drop out. If you asked me to make a prediction right now I'd say a 3rd place finish, win the home wild-card, lose to LA/FSL in the next round. The Front Office will call it a successful season since they achieved their goal of a home playoff game.
Man of the Match: Tim Howard. The one guy who seemed to care about winning this game. Sorry your teammates let you down.