Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Well, I've got news for you pal, you ain't leadin' but two things: Jack and s#!%... and Jack just left town"

The Rapids didn't lead the game, and they aren't leading the conference. In Army of Darkness terms this game "went bad so we should cut it off".

For the first 50 minutes of this match the Rapids looked like a USL-2 side. Disorganized, no creativity, and no ability to do anything. Erpen lost his head before half, kicking Gordon in the groin and getting a red card for his efforts. Lucky for the Rapids Gordon was just as stupid and kicked back at Erpen, also seeing red. By the time they finally woke up they were down 3-0. For the next 20 minutes the Rapids were able to get their defense organized and started to retain some possession. Finally the offense clicked in the final 20 minutes. Cummings set Clark up in the box and Clark embarrassed Xavier for the second time this season. Herculez jumped on a rebound to get us within one. McManus had a rocket of a shot just barely parried off the bar by Cronin. Numerous crosses made their way into the box. But like every other loss this year the Rapids were unable to complete the comeback and lost.

Keys to the Game review:

Just go back to the Game Preview if you want to review them. Needless to say none of the Keys went the Rapids way.

Critical Matchup: Jordan Harvey vs. David Beckham - We kept Beckham off the score sheet. His cross from a free kick led to the first goal, but it was a lack of clearing the ball more than Beckham's ball that caused the goal. So we shut down Beckham, we just didn't do anything else on defense.

Fact of the Match: In all 13 competitive games the Rapids have played this year, the team that scored the first goal has won the game.

Random Observations:

  • We're down 2 and the one thing that's worked well has been crossing into the box. So why bring on Mehdi Ballouchy instead of Terry Cooke for Jacob Peterson? Clavijo called Cooke the "second best crosser in MLS" on From the Pitch earlier in the week. This pretty much confirms that Cooke is in Clavijo's doghouse for no known reason.

  • Ballouchy for Beckerman. Worst. Trade. Ever. Ballouchy has shown no justification for having an MLS contract. He can't read the game, he has feet of stone, and he can't hit a good pass.

  • Christian Gomez needs to stop taking free kicks. He can't get them up over the wall, or corners over the first man. Cooke should be taking the free kicks (another reason he shouldn't be on the bench).

  • The Peterson experiment needs to end. He doesn't play well enough to start.

  • Gomes is not a central defender. Get him back to defensive mid, or bench him.

  • McManus was quiet, but had a couple of dangerous moments. He should continue to start.

  • Horrible, horrible game. The Rapids yet again blew a chance to establish themselves as a team to beat. Looking at our upcoming matches (@Tor, Hou, @Clb) its not going to get any better for a while

  • Man of the Match: Pablo Mastroeni - For getting as far away from this debacle as possible by being in New York with the National Team.

    SPECIAL NOTE:The broadcast of this game on Altitude may be the worst soccer broadcast I have ever watched. The announcers know nothing about soccer and even get basic rules wrong. At one point they wondered why Buddle wasn't offside on the throw-in that led to the second goal. First he wasn't offside, second it was a free kick not a throw-in that was played to him, but most importantly third, you can't be offside on a throw-in. This is the same pair who wondered during the Chivas game why Bouna didn't pick up a backpass instead of playing it with his feet. If you don't even know the basic Laws of the Game you have no business calling a game.

    That was only a small part of the issues. The number of basic mistakes that they made was amazing. Alan Gordon went down with an injury int he first minute of the game. They managed to identify him as 3 different players before he got to his feet. They somehow missed Cummings being substituted for Casey until Cummings had been in the game for minutes. Their analysis of the game was laughable at best. You could pick any two members of the Rapids supporters groups and get better commentary than we got last night.

    The last piece of this disastrous puzzle was the fact that KSE was too cheap to send their own production team to the game. That means that the Rapids used the Galaxy's FSN video feed, with no ability to control it. That meant what replays we saw were based on whatever replays FSN decided to show. When FSN cut to their sideline reporter the Rapids team had to just keep talking over the top of the video of the reporter, because we didn't have the audio and we had no ability to change the video feed. I'm pretty sure the Rapids team wasn't even in LA, instead calling the game on a monitor from a studio here in Denver. The result of all this was a broadcast that was so distracting that it was hard to even stay focused on the game. I was so fed up by it that by the time the Rapids even started playing well I had partially tuned out of the game.

    Bush league broadcasting by KSE.

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