Thursday, April 10, 2008

Q&A With the Revs

I've been approached by the Revs fans on BigSoccer to do a Q&A before the game on Saturday. I'm cross-posting the results here, and I'll link to wherever the Revs fans post them.

1. A spectacular first outing for the Rapids followed by a very odd game in KC. I didn't realize how tiny KC's field was until our last game. Was that the reason for the letdown, or were expectations way too high after beating LA 4-0?

A: I don't think the expectations among the Rapids fanbase were that high. We knew it was going to be a tough game and generally we would have been happy with a draw. It seems that outside of the Rapids fanbase everyone saw the 4-0 scoreline against the LA Beckhams and assumed that the Rapids were very good, not realizing that the Galaxy were really, really bad that night. The field in KC is small, but its actually bigger than the field they played on in Arrowhead.

What happened is that the young Rapids committed a couple of stupid fouls that led to some good set pieces. The encouraging thing is that we kept our heads up after getting down 2-0 and came back to draw the game. If it weren't for a bit of a lucky bounce we might have gotten out of there with a draw. This was a huge change from last year's team where if we got down at any point, especially on the road, the game was probably over.

2. What's the general consensus among Colorado supporters in regards to Christian Gomez? You guys gave up a lot to get him, was he the missing piece?

A: You've hit on the key issue in the Rapids fanbase right now, outside of your favorite ex-Revs coach. There's a split between those who think that the Rapids would have never used the DP, so getting at least Gomez for it was a great move, and those who think that regardless of the likelihood of the Rapids getting a DP, using it to get Gomez was too high a price. I'm in that latter group.

I think this game is going to be a good test for him and the Rapids. This is the first time since the trade that he's going up against a top quality defensive player, Shalrie Joseph. He's going to have to prove he was worth the cost by not letting Joseph alone stop him. If he can draw an additional defender to free up our other offensive weapons, or get free from Joseph enough to be a weapon then things will be looking up. If Joseph shuts him down by himself then there will be some questions about his value.

3. Did you know that Sainey Nyassi, the young Gambian on the Revs, has a step-over move to his right? I ask you this because it didn't look like the Kansas City defenders had even watched him on television prior to the match on Wednesday night. In all seriousness, what scares you (if anything) about the depleted Revolution roster?

A: No, but then I haven't seen him play yet. I'm going to assume that the Colorado coaches have. ;)

I think the speed of the Gambians, along with their relative "newness" to MLS is what concerns me most. Burciaga likes to get up into the attack, which will leave hole in the back that the Revs can exploit. That, combined with their relative unknowns, makes a very dangerous opportunity for the Revs. You also have the underdog "backs against the wall" mentality of a team that's as hurt as the Revs are. I think a key for the Rapids will be getting an early goal to try to put New England out of it early.

4. It's assumed that Gomez will be setting up the bulk of the goals this year. Who on the Rapids will be scoring the most?

A: Good question. ;) That was the biggest question mark of the offseason. The Rapids made a move to get Gomez, but our big problem last year wasn't the set-up, it was the finish. We made no move to get a striker, and we only have two pure strikers on the team, Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. Cummings has been getting the early starts while Casey is rehabbing from knee surgery. He's been dangerous, but his first touch is occasionally lacking and he and Gomez haven't quite gelled. I think you'll see a rotation of Casey, Cummings, and Herculez Gomez up top as Clavijo figures out which one works the best with our midfield attacking trio of Clark, C. Gomez, and Cookie.

5. A lot of MLS fans in Rhode Island are wondering what the heck happened to Nico Colaluca. What did happen to Nico Colaluca?

A lot of Rapids fans are wondering the same thing. Until recently I've been a long-distance Rapids fan and I haven't seen the reserves play, so I don't know where his game is at right now. A large problem is that if the Rapids have an area of strength, its in he midfield. Between Gomez, Cookie, Clark, Mastroeni, and Gomes we have a solid starting 5, so there's not a lot of room for him to get into the starting 11.

6. Prediction for the game?

A: 2-1 Rapids, though I wouldn't be at all shocked if we ended up getting a draw. With New England travelling to KC and back in midweek, while the Rapids were resting and with the Revs injuries I think this is one of the few times that 3 points is available to the Rapids on the road. If we don't manage to get at least a point its going to be a lost opportunity and it will be an indication that the Rapids road woes have not been solved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a Rapids and UVa soccer fan I'm also curious about the development of Nico Colaluca. Ciaran just got drafted and he's already getting time on the field. Is Colaluca showing anything as a reserve? I also want to see Christian Gomez show some spark and prove his worth to the team.