Monday, June 22, 2009

Rapids Go ID4 on DC

DC came into Colorado on an 8 game winless streak in the Mile High City. They left with a 9 game winless streak and wondering what the hell hit them. The Rapids scored early and often tot ake DC out of the game. It started in the 11th minute when Pablo played a through ball out of the back that Cummings ran onto. He pushed the ball past a sliding defender, leaped over him in stride, and put it past the keeper into the far side netting. The Rapids kept the pressure up and in the 30th minute hit the post and the crossbar in 5 seconds off a corner kick. Pickens had to come up big to keep DC scoreless, then Omar capped the half by jumping on a weak backpass by DC's left back Avery John, sprinting through to claim the loose ball, rounding the keeper, and firing home from a very tight angle once again into the far side netting.

The second half was much like the first. In the 49th minute Cummings took a flick-on header from Peterson to the baseline, cut inside, and toe poked the ball across the box to an onrushing Colin Clark. Clark managed to put the ball right at the keeper but hit it with such force that the keeper could only deflect it into the net. After the 3-0 lead the fight pretty much went out of DC. Pickens had to come up with two big saves to preserve the shutout, but the Rapids pretty much controlled the game and got their first shut out against 11 men of the season.

My key to the game was Christian Gomez vs. Pablo Mastroeni. In was actually Nick LaBrocca who hung on Gomez all night and he kept him from getting anything started. Already missing Emilio, Moreno, and Fred with Gomez being blanketed out of the game DC really had no attacking options. Well done by LaBrocca.

Other Observations:
  • I want to point out my game preview prediction. 2-0 with goals by Cummings and Clark. OK, I didn't see Omar getting 2 goals, but otherwise that's a pretty good prediction.
  • Everyone had a good game and I don't have time to go through them all, but there are a couple of players I want to call out in particular.
  • Scott Palguta - Best game in MLS so far. Looking like a great fund by Steve Guppy.
  • Matt Pickens - Put in a bid for MOTM with his saves.
  • Colin Clark - figuring out when to pass and when to dribble which is making him dangerous.
  • Pablo Mastroeni - Played more 2-way ball than I've seen in a long time.
  • Pat Noonan looked rusty, but he showed a few good flashes. Once he gets back into game shape and gets used tot he altitude he'll be a good fill in up front.
  • The Rapids have tied their second best single season undefeated streak at 7 with this win. The record is 9, counting Shootout losses as draws.
Player of the Game: Omar Cummings. 2 goals, 1 assist, MLS Player of the Week honors. Easy choice.

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