Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Depth Tested, Omar Comes Through

Sorry about the delay. Work is very busy right now and will be the rest of the month so don't be surprised to see other delays.

The Rapids came into Sandy short-handed, got more short-handed throughout the game, and still managed to walk out with a point and int eh driver's seat of the Rocky Mountain Cup. Colorado lined up as expected with Pablo and Casey gone. LaBrocca slid back and opened up a spot for Cooke and Peterson moved into Casey's spot. The teams were fairly even until midway through the first half when Terry Cooke went down with a knee injury. With the only offensive sub on the bench being rookie Ross Schunk, Gary smith asked Kimura to try something new and Kosuke slotted into the midfield. At this point FSL took the game over, controlling play for the rest of the half and the Rapids were lucky to go to the locker rooms scoreless.

Gary Smith and Steve Guppy figured something out at half though, because they pushed players into the midfield, making it a 4-5-1, and this allowed the Rapids to control the early part of the second half. FSL did eventually turn the momentum and after a number of good chances they missed, in the 79' Movsysian managed to get some space int he box, beat 3 Rapids, and slot a goal home. I'm still not sure how the ball got through without hitting anyone. At this point Smith made a move to try to get us back in the game, pulling Scott Palguta to get Schunk his first league playing time. The never-say-die attitude that has been so missing in recent years came through again, and in the 88' Cummings took a ball from Ballouchy, turned into space, and rifled a shot over Rimando and off the crossbar to tie the game. The goal is currently leading the Goal of the Week voting. After that the Rapids closed up to protect the draw and got out of Utah with the point.

My key to the game was taking FSL out of the game. We didn't come anywhere close. Besides the first 20 minutes of the second half FSL controlled most of the game. They just couldn't take advantage by scoring, and a great shot from Omar saved us. After Cooke went out it was obvious the Rapids were happy to play for the 0-0 draw, and that attitude almost cost us.

Other Observations:
  • I love the fact that, unlike under Clavijo, just because we're behind doesn't mean we're going to lose.
  • Even when Cooke was in we weren't real adventurous going forward, without him we became a purely defensive team. Given that we're going to be without Casey for the next 2 home games we're going to have to figure out how to control the game without him.
  • Another solid game for Ballouchy. Maybe Clavijo really was his problem.
  • For a young guy asked to play out of position I thought Kimura did a great job. He was more dangerous at times than Colin Clark,
  • Clark didn't have a bad game, but he could have done better I think.
  • 6 players didn't travel to SLC (by league rules). 4 of them (Pablo, Casey, Guerrero, O'Brien) were dealing with different teams and Ceus is a third-string keeper and never travels. The odd man out was Gregory Richardson. you have to figure he's the next cut if we find another striker.e.
  • I correctly predicted the 1-1 draw, though I thought Clark would score not Cummings.
Player of the Game: Omar Cummings. Nobody looked real good this game, I thought about Kimura, but Omar gets the nod for the goal.

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