Sunday, August 10, 2008

If they're going to show us the same game, why can't I use the same ticket?

Wow, that was some really bad soccer. more of the same from the Rapids, lots of possession, lots of chances, 0 goals. At this point the season is over, if you lose at home to Toronto who was missing 6-7 starters, you have no chance of making the playoffs.

The game started with Casey having a perfect chance in front of net. The goalkeeper was beat, Casey had a perfect header from 6-7 yards out, and somehow didn't even put it on net. That should have been taken as a sign. Following that there was 90 minutes of Rapids futility in front of goal, with only a few notable occurrences.

Right before half Uhemelu took Rohan Ricketts to the ground. Unnecessary foul, but Ricketts made of meal of it. On the ensuing free kick Chad Barrett stepped up and placed a perfect ball into the upper corner of the net. Bouna Time! had a good read on it, but the ball was placed so well he had no chance to stop it. The Rapids went to the locker room down 1-0, and on the way off the field Colin Clark decided to get into an argument with the refs and received a yellow card for his trouble. That would be important later.

In the second half Facundo Erpen had his weekly brain fart and sent a bouncing ball back towards Bouna. Coundoul has no choice but to palm it away as the bounce was taking it over his head and into the net. This led to a indirect free kick from the edge of the 6 yard box. Lucky for the Rapids, TFC was incompetent and Pablo actually got to the ball after the first touch before any of the Toronto players.

The last real "highlight" of note was Colin Clark and Nana Attakora-Gyan chasing a ball out of play on the Toronto endline. As they crossed the line Clark apparently decided to get some payback for Marvell Wynne sending him into the boards in Toronto, an he hip checked Attakora into the boards. combined with nan's momentum he crashed into the signage with a great deal of force. While Wynne got away with his charge on Clark in Toronto, Clark was not so lucky and saw his second yellow of the game, and thus red. He'll miss the next game on the automatic one-game red card suspension, and he'll miss the game after that for acquiring 5 yellow cards so far this season. Have a good vacation Colin!

Other than that the Rapids had no passion or desire. They looked like 9 players who had given up on the season plus Pablo and Bouna (and for the last 20 minutes, McManus). Clavijo has lost the game, season, and team, and we shouldn't expect anything out of the Rapids until changes are made.

Keys to the Game review:

  • Can we avoid giving up the stupid goal? I can't remember the last time I watched somebody score against he Rapids and thought it was good play instead of a bonehead move by us, usually by Erpen or Ihemelu..
    The foul was unnecessary, but not a complete boneheaded move. TFC earned it with good possession and a great free kick..
  • Please score in the first half, I beg you.
    Yeah, not so much.
  • The next two weeks are must win games. After the KC game we go on the road to three tough places to play. Does the team play like it realizes the urgency of the game?
    They didn't even play like the game was as important as a preseason game. Its obvious that most of the team has stopped caring.
  • Casey needs to move more in the box, especially when Cookie or Clark are lining up crosses.
    He moved more, with the same results. At this point I'm pretty sure the goal could be 50 feet wide and he'd either miss it or hit it right to the keeper.
  • Is Bouna Time! back, or is he still struggling?
    Bouna was called on 3 times, the free kick that he could do nothing about, the Erpen back pass that he had to play or give up a gaol, and 1 other shot from TFC. Hard to judge him on this game.
  • Clavijo needs to realize that a draw isn't good enough, and push for a winner late if necessary.
    Well he did put McManus in when we were down a gaol and a man, but the problems started long before that.

Critical Matchup: Casey & McManus vs. Toronto defense - Well we controlled play, and managed 10 shots on goal. Of course they were all at the keeper. I think he had to dive maybe twice all game.

Fact of the Match: Over the last two league games we've out shot the opposition 44-13 (17-5 in shots on goal) and have been outscored 3-0.

Random Observations:

  • Clavijo subbed out Christian Gomez in the 60th minute when we were down 1-0. This is what we gave our DP slot up for?

  • Two stupid yellow cards by Colin Clark. They were so stupid that I would strongly consider sitting him for an extra game if he weren't already facing two games on the bench. I have no idea what he was thinking.

  • I can't believe Pablo will be on this team after this season unless Jeff Plush can convince him that he plans to do something major to turn this around. Pablo looks like an EPL player out there compared to what the rest of the Rapids are doing.

  • Erpen is an idiot and has no business on the field. Unfortunately Ihemelu and Burciaga didn't play much better so the Rapids options are somewhat limited.

  • Tom McManus needs to start every game for the est of the season. He brought the passion and desire that was missing for the first 75 minutes of the game.

  • The Rapids had 4-5 shots that were well created and nicely taken, but had no pace on them so they were easy saves. Try actually putting some effort into the shots guys.

  • Omar Cummings hasn't seen a shot he wouldn't miss. He still needs 4-5 chances before even getting a halfway-acceptable shot off.

  • Man of the Match: Pablo Mastroeni - He played like he actually cared, and did better with the ball than anyone else on the team. Honorable mention to McManus who tried to put the team on his back but just didn't have enough time.

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