Monday, July 21, 2008

Everybody, kiss your sister

That's right, it was the all-draw weekend in MLS, and the Rapids and Dallas did their part, ending in a 2-2 draw.

It was the Rapids who went up early with only their third 1st half goal of the season. Ballouchy found Gomez sneaking behind the Dallas defense and sent a great ball into him that just go over the defender's heads. Herculez sent it past an onrushing Sala for a Rapids lead 5 minutes into the match.

After that it became Adventures in Goalkeeping starring Bouna Time! Bouna came out badly twice, and got burned for it both times. On the first Bouna was outside the box, missed the play on the ball, and it was crossed in for Oduro, who was surrounded by Pablo and Erpen. Instead of forcing Oduro to make the shot in traffic Erpen pushed him to the ground, drawing the PK and allowing Dallas to tie the game at 1. On the second Bouna tried to challenge Kenny Cooper for a ball in the box, but Cooper got their first and put the ball in the front of the empty net for Dallas to put away and take a 2-1 lead.

Casey struck back right away though. Cooke sent a ball down to the endline that Christian perfectly one-times across the face of goal. Casey rose up and got a head on it and the Rapids were back even at 2. They seemed satisfied with that late in the game and got out of Dallas with a point and a 3 game undefeated streak.

Keys to the Game review:

  • While the draw in San Jose was disappointing we have a chance this week to put a 3 game undefeated streak together. Can we play like we realize the importance of that?
    We did, and if it weren't for a couple of costly miscues by Bouna and Erpen we probably would have won the game.
  • The first half performance will be particularly important this week. With the heat we can expect to tire more easily. Do we show up before halftime
    We did, and kept the pressure on even after going up a goal. The team looks significantly better when they do that.
  • Has Cummings solved his issue of needing 3-4 chances for every goal?
    By the time Cummings got into the game he was almost a non-factor. Herculez definitely staked a clam to be the other starter while McManus is injured.
  • Will the defense show some patience and avoid the temptation to play long ball?
    There was still a bit too much over the top for my liking, but it was a step up from the San Jose game.
  • Andre Rocha has 6 assists for Dallas. How well does LaBrocca close him down?
    Rocha was quiet for most of the game. LaBrocca kept him bottled up well.
  • Will Cooke and Clark be playing like wing backs or wingers? The further back they play the less likely we'll be to score.
    They were both more involved in the offense. Clark was dangerous on the left and Cooke controlled the ball well, plus he registered an assist.

Critical Matchup: Pablo Mastroeni vs. Kenny Cooper - Kenny Cooper racked up a PK goal and an assist, largely due to Bouna's poor decisions. Still Pablo was nowhere to be found on the assist Cooper got.

Fact of the Match: This is the first game this season the Rapids have not won when scoring the first goal.

Random Observations:

  • I know I've hammered him a good deal int his post, but this was easily Bouna's worst game as a Rapid. Hopefully he learns from it.

  • I'm tired of watching Erpen and Ihemelu's Keystone Kops routine. I'd like to see one game against a decent offense where they don't make a stupid mistake

  • What was up with that field? It seemed to be half sand!

  • We got two goals through good play out of the midfield. Less long ball, more goals.

  • Very inconsistent officiating in this game. I'm not one to blame officiating for results, as good teams don't put themselves in position to get screwed by the refs, but I think the officiating may have cost us two points in this one.

  • As ugly as the last two games have been, we are on a 3 game undefeated streak for the first time since September 2nd of 2007.

  • Standings: With everyone in the league drawing the Rapids only gained ground against the 4 SuperLiga teams. They are 4th in the West, still 3 points out of first with a game in hand. Colorado is tied with KC and NY for 9th overall in the league. They are tied with Columbus for the 3rd best offense and they ave the 9th best defense.

    Man of the Match: Herculez Gomez - He looked good out there given how much time he's spent on the bench. Nice goal to get an early lead as well.

    No comments: