Monday, April 6, 2009

1,2,3 Goals You're Out!

Conor Casey had 3 bright moments in 90 minutes of bad soccer from both teams as the Rapids defeated the Galaxy 3-2 in LA on Saturday. The game started with the field tilted towards the LA goal as Ihemelu, Cummings, and Casey hooked up for the second fastest goal in MLS history as Casey slotted the ball home only 17 seconds into the match. The LA defense apparently didn't hear the opening whistle. After that the game bogged down in bad passes and wayward shots. The next shot on goal wouldn't come until the 37th minute as LA's Omar Gonzalez got away from Casey on a PrimaDonnavan corner kick and had an unmarked header past Burpo to level the score. The teams would spend another 8 minutes doing nothing before heading to the locker rooms at half.

La didn't take long to grab the lead in the second half. 3 minutes in the Rapids defense fell apart, letting Sean Franklin wander through the top of the box before a series of passes to PrimaDonnavan and Gordon left Gordon unmarked in front of an open goal. The lead lasted for only a minute as Cummings and Casey re-created their first goal to level the game at 2. The game shifted in the 59th minute as Dema Kovalenko uncorked a trademark Dema tackle on Ballouchy and saw a straight red for it. Suddenly LA took over the game (no that's not a typo), but couldn't manage to get a shot on net. Eventually the Rapids regained their balance, and made LA pay. In the 83rd minute Clark stripped Franklin in the defensive third and went racing down the left side. he then hit a wide open Casey who rounded the keeper and finished off his hat-trick to give the Rapids their first road win of the season.

My key to the game was organization, and the Rapids didn't have it. Luckily for Colorado, LA was even worse. The Bruce Arena I Love the 90's Nats Reunion Tour doesn't seem to be working for LA. The Rapids are going to get burned when we play a real MLS team if we don't figure out our defense soon.

Other Observations:
  • The teams combined for 5 shots on goal, 5 goals, and 0 saves. Could have played without the keepers!
  • With the exception of Clark's game-winning assist the midfield was completely absent from this game. I can't remember Ballouchy, Clark, or LaBrocca doing anything other than Clark's assist. Pablo was obviously not at full speed after his midweek game and was subbed in the 68th minute.
  • Cummings now has 2 goals and 2 assists on the season. He's stepping up his game, and we needed it.
  • Casey's hat-trick was the 5th in team history, and his second for the Rapids. He's the first Rapid to have 2 hat-tricks for the team.
  • Ihemelu had another strong game, he wasn't particularly to blame on either goal and blocked a number of LA attacks.
  • Burpo still worries me in goal.
Player of the Game: Conor Casey, duh.

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