Monday, June 26, 2017

Deja Vu In Dallas


This week last year (the 29th to be exact) the Rapids were in Dallas for their U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match.  Tomorrow the Rapids are in Dallas for their U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match.  Yeah, seems familiar.  Last year this fixture went to extra time before Colorado lost 2-1.  They also lost Dillon Serna  for the year after a rash tackle.  Lets hope for better results all around tomorrow.

Traditionally under Pablo this is where the Rapids bow out of the USOC, losing in this round each of the last 3 years.  In fact only 5 times in the prior 21 years have Colorado made it past this point, the last time being 2006.  Given our road form this year its hard to predict otherwise.

The good news is that should we want to take this round more seriously than in the past we rested players on Saturday to allow u to do that.  We could roll out Sjoberg, Ford, Hairston, Watts, Boateng, Doyle, and possibly even Gashi if we wanted to.  This is our 5th game of this 7 games in 22 game stretch so we'll be making some changes no matter what.

Even with that I expect a loss tomorrow.  Dallas is really good and we aren't.

New Road Trip, Same Road Result


Really there's not much to talk about for this one.  If you've seen most road matches this year (Philly being the exception) you've seen this one.  The strategy was clearly bunker, be happy if we score on the counter, otherwise get out with a 0-0 draw.  Of course that fails, as it has failed every road game this season, when the Rapids give up a goal.  We're going to have to find another strategy (or a better defense) in order to get road results the rest of the season.

The only real notable event this game was an early tackle by Castillo which resulted in a yellow card but that everyone involved other than the center ref, including the Rapids announcers and fans, thought should have been red.  Expect the DisCo to suspend Castillo for Saturday's game.  Azira will also be gone through yellow card accumulation.

Man of the Match: Tim Howard.  Lesser of 11 evils.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Rapids Hope To Survive Terminus

Luis Suarez is probably the closest thing to a walker in football

Colorado breaks new ground tomorrow, taking their first ever trip to Atlanta to face expansion side United.  The game is at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd stadium, probably the only time the Rapids will play there as Atlanta will move into the new Falcons stadium in August.  This will not be a battle of U.S. goalkeepers though as Guzan is not eligible to play for Atlanta until the window opens in two week.  Game time tomorrow is 5pm and the game is on Altitude.  C38 is running a bus up to Fort Collins for a brewery tour and then a watch party up there.

Burling is certainly out for this one.  Boateng, Saied, Doyle, and Gashi are listed as questionable.  I expect we may see Baoteng coming off the bench as the Rapids posted a video of him participating in 5 on 2 drills in Atlanta today.  I doubt we see the other three unless Doyle's hand issue can be padded in a way to allow him to play through it.  Atlanta will be missing 3 players including former Rapids forward Jacob Peterson.

Obviously with our 3rd game in a week and the 4th game of 7 in a 22 game run we're going to see some lineup rotation.  Combined with our injuries we'll probably see some combination of Miller, Williams, Powers, Watts, and Calvert getting the start to replace some of our more tired players.

Prediction: 2-1 loss, goal by Gatt.  Atlanta has the best offense in the league but one of the worst defenses.  That won't be enough help to the Rapids offense though.  Given our patchwork lineup due to injury and our busy schedule I don't see getting a result here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rapids Lose Game And Players


Well, that couldn't have gone much worse.  The Rapids were fighting a uphill battle from 5 minutes in and after a disastrous performance from their back line a 3-1 loss was probably fair.  On top of that they may have lost Saied to a serious knee injury and Doyle may have broken his hand.  Not a good night.

  • If Gatt had scored that shot in the opening minute the game might have been very different.  He didn't even get it on target though (a theme that would continue for him the rest of the night)
  • Horrible touch from Sjoberg put him under pressure and then a lucky bounce as Axel desperately tried to clear it set LA up for their first goal
  • The Rapids were a little unlucky not to be leading at half as they had the better of the play and a number of good chances.  They just, once again, couldn't finish
  • After halftime, unlike the last couple of games, the team was flat and lifeless.  I don't know if it was the heat or the short rest but we looked much like the team that started the season, which isn't a good thing
  • da Fonte got worked by Joao Pedro on the second LA goal.  I don't know if he thought the ball was going out of play or what but it shows he has a lot to learn at this level still.  Ford did his best to stay with McBean but it was too much to ask
  • Ford made his own error on the PK, making it 3 of the 4 members of the backline making critical mistakes that led to LA goals
  • Pablo's 3 at once sub was a "why not" moment.  Down a goal with Saied injured they had to try something to get back into the game
  • I don't know why the Rapids  have instituted ticket checks entering and leaving the section every time, especially on nights like last night.  Are they really worried that everyone is sitting in the right spot in a half empty stadium?
  • The Bodmer Line is now at 1.58 pts/game the rest of the way.  Doable, but difficult
Man of the Match: Dillon Serna.  Yeah, I took the easy way out and picked the goal-scorer.  Mainly because nobody stood out last night.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rapids Host Galaxy On Pride Night


Its a busy time for the Rapids with their 3rd of 5 games in a two week span tomorrow night.  Colorado's long-time rivals (at one point a few years ago this was the most played competitive fixture between MLS teams) LA are in town and both teams will be celebrating Pride Month.  LA will be wearing rainbow warm-up jerseys and the Rapids will have the scarf shown above for sale (LA will have a scarf at their next home game).  They actually had it for sale on Saturday as well and I picked one up.  On the backside is an image of Denver's skyline in rainbow colors on a night sky.  Kickoff tomorrow is 7pm so the tailgate starts at 4.  The game is on Altitude for those who can't make it.

The Rapids will be missing Burling and Boateng tomorrow and Gashi is questionable.  Nobody else is listed on an injury report anywhere, for what that's worth.  LA is down 6 players to injury including Jermaine Jones, though he is rumored to be back this weekend so he could make an appearance.

My guess is that we see some rotation in the lineup due to the busy schedule.  Miller and Williams may show up in the wingback positions, Powers may get a start next to Azira, and Calvert might be an option up front.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Doyle.  Yeah, same prediction as last Saturday.  LA has a better offense and a slightly worse defense,, but we have the home field advantage and the benefit of no travel.  Those all cancel out into a draw.