Monday, October 20, 2008

The 4 C's; Cooke, Cummings, Clark, and Casey

Image Credt: Scott Varley

The 4 C's combined for 2 goals and a win that kept the Rapids playoff hopes alive yesterday. The first half was a snooze fest with only 3 shots on goal (2 by Colorado) and nothing that was really threatening. The second half started off almost as slow, but the Rapids slowly took control of the game. This control culminated in a penalty kick that should never have been given. In the 57th minute Jordan Harvey went down in the box because a Chivas player looked at him wrong but got the call. McManus stepped up and decided he was taking the kick even after Casey wanted it. He should have passed as hick kick was weak and right down the middle, easily stopped by Dan Kennedy. That was Tom's last touch as he was subbed out right after that for Omar Cummings. He retreated to the bench with a towel over his face hoping that he hadn't just cost the Rapids the playoffs.

Tom didn't have to worry for long. Terry Cooke entered the game int he 65th minute and two minutes later, on his first touch of the game, he sprung Cummings down the right side. Omar took the ball, crossed it back, and hit a perfect cross to a completely unmarked Colin Clark in the box. Clark took his time, timed his jump, and headed a laser past the keeper for the 1-0 lead. After his flying drop-kick of the corner flag (see above) the first person their to congratulate him was Tom McManus.

The lead would only hold up for 5 minutes though. 4 minutes after the goal Gary Smith put Facundo Erpen in for Mike Petke, and it didn't take long for Erpen's every game mental mistake to cost us. In the 72 minute Bornstein was left unmarked by Erpen while Ihemelu had been taken to the ground in the box. Bornstein's shot deflected off of Ihemelu and Bouna was going the wrong way after the deflection. Things were looking bad until the 85th minute. Omar Cummings nutmegged a Goat in the box, and rather than trying to play the ball he stepped into Cummings path as he was rounding him and Cummings took the chance to go down. A second PK, this one soft but absolutely a foul. Casey decided to take this one and hit the post, but it rebounded into the goal for the 2-1 lead. After that the Rapids ran out the clock and set up a winner take all match with FSL next Saturday at The Dick.

Keys to the Game review:

  • There's only one this week. In a must-win game do the Rapids show up? It doesn't matter who wins what battle, all that matters is the score at the end of the game.
    We got the win, but the Rapids never looked like they were really trying hard. I expected more from a team in a must-win situation.

Critical Matchup: The Rapids vs. the pressure - The Rapids did not crumble under the pressure. With the exception of another Erpen mental mistake they played solid, if uninspired, soccer.

Fact of the Match: The Rapids currently have the most road goals in the league.

Random Observations:

  • Welcome back Bouna! Not much for him to do this game, and no chance on the goal, but a good game to knock the rust off.

  • Erpen seems to cost us one goal a game.

  • Cooke proves that he needs to start and play 90. He's had 5 assists in the last 7 games. You have to go back a ways to find a Rapids player with that kind of record.

  • Ballouchy had no impact on this game, again.

  • Its all on the line next week against FSL. Win and we're in the playoffs. Win and we reclaim the Rocky Mountain Cup. Anything less and FSL keeps the RMC and goes to the playoffs for their first time ever.

  • Man of the Match: Omar Cummings - Had the assist on the first goal and drew the foul for the PK that got the second goal.

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