Monday, June 30, 2008

"But, if I was not in this situation, and I was objectively watching what just happened this week, I would probably be drinking a lot of beers."

Once again we look to the quote able Ichiro for today's title. He said it a month ago about the Mariners, but it applies just as well to the current Rapids.

Yet again the Rapids played flat in the first half, only this time they continued it into the second half, eventually losing to the Village People 2-1.

Despite what the Post said on Friday Christian Gomez was not available for this game, leading Clavijo to use the 4-4-2 'empty bucket' formation we saw much of last year. Much like last year, it wasn't successful. After a PK goal by Columbus the Rapids came back quickly on a great shot from outside the box by Nick LaBrocca that Hesmer could not deflect far enough. The Rapids looked like they might get out of Columbus with a point, but then Ekpo made a 50-yard unchallenged run with the ball that ended with a shot that Bouna Time! got a hand on, but couldn't push wide. The Rapids pressed for the tying goal late, but would come up short.

Keys to the Game review:

  • Has Clavijo lost the team? At this point last year as we descended into our 10-game win less streak it was obvious that nobody cared about playing for him any more. Has that happened again?
    I hate to say it, but it looks like the team has given up on Clavijo again. Outside of the midfield duo of DiRaimondo and LaBrocca, nobody looked good in this game.

Critical Matchup: Cooke vs. the Crew's left back. - Cooke looked pretty bad this game. Admittedly the team didn't feed him the ball enough, but when he did get it his first touch was ugly and his passes weren't the crisp ones we've come to expect. Hopefully he's just got to get used to playing again.

Fact of the Match: We still have 0 points when giving up the first goal.

Random Observations:

  • Erpen and Harvey were involved in giving up both goals. On the first Harvey was out of position, Erpen made one of his trademark diving lunges that completely missed and took him out of the play, and Harvey came flying back and tripped up the Crew player, giving up the PK. On the second Harvey was caught upfield, Ekpo was allowed to make an uncontested run, then Pablo and Erpen did not communicate and each one decided to shut down the passing lanes, leaving nobody to step up and challenge Ekpo before the shot.

  • Casey got the assist on the lone Rapids goal, but other than that he was invisible on Saturday. Won't somebody step up and make a claim to being the go-to guy up front?

  • I have to say that the combination of DiRaimondo and LaBrocca in the midfield seems to be working. Pablo needs to get used to playing on the back line, and work on his communication with the other defenders.

  • If the Rapids don't get a win in the next 2 weeks, they probably won't get one until they host KC on August 16th. We play well on the 4th and we're going to the expansion team, both games we can win. After that its at Dallas, and Toronto and Columbus at home. I don't see a win in those 3 games.

  • Standings: The Rapids are 6th in the 7 team Western Conference, and tied with KC for 12th overall in MLS. They are tied with Chivas and Chicago for the 5th best offense and tied with San Jose and Chivas for the 9th best defense.

    Man of the Match: Nick LaBrocca - It was between him and DiRaimondo, but the pretty goal gives it to Nick.

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