Monday, July 13, 2009

Domo Arigato, Mister Kimura

The Rapids snoozed their way through 89 minutes of the game on Saturday night. They did enough to keep Dallas from doing anything, but never really threatened the goal except for the 79th minute where Ballouchy and Kimura combined for Kosuke's 2nd professional goal. That was the difference in a much needed, if not much deserved, win for Colorado.

The first half was pretty forgettable. The Rapids controlled play most of the time, but it didn't lead to many good scoring chances. Jacob Peterson had two shots from the edge of the box in the first 25 minutes that were easily saved but other than that it was control with no opportunities. There were two early yellow cards, one to Ihemelu that was barely a foul (and thanks to it he'll miss the next game) and one to LaBrocca that I still haven't figured out. Other than that the highlight of the half was watching Kimura own Brek Shea Pet over and over right in front of Class VI, who made sure Shea new exactly how bad he was playing.

The second half was more of the first, control but no results. In this half Dallas had a little more control, with a couple of dangerous probes in the middle of the half, one led to Dallas' only shot on goal of the game which the Rapids defense easily dealt with. The early highlight of the half was Dallas realizing that Kimura was owning Shea, so they had him switch sides. That put him in front of Class VI for until he got subbed out in the 62nd minute. In the 79th minute the Rapids woke up long enough to win the game. Kimura played a give and go with Ballouchy and on receiving the return pass Kosuke was behind the Dallas defense. Honestly it looked like he was offside on the play, but Altitude did not provide a side angle view so I have to trust the AR. Kimura took a couple of touches and put a shot into the roof of the net for the 1-0 lead. After that the Rapids just closed up shop and took the 3 points.

My key to the game was depth and seeing if somebody would step up to fill in for the missing Clark and Cummings. Kimura did, becoming the only player on the team with multiple goals this season outside the 3 C's (Clark, Cummings, and Casey). Other than that though, blech. Players seemed to be going through the motions.

Other Observations:
  • With the win the Rapids are tied for 4th in the West and a 4 way tie for 6th overall. In points-per-game though, the Rapids are alone in 5th.
  • Everybody in front of Pablo had a forgettable game. It ranged from adequate (LaBrocca) to horrible (Ballouchy).
  • Ballouchy was a black hole. The pass to Kimura was his only decent forward pass all night. He actually blocked a shot on goal by Ihemelu in the first half, and under no pressure in the second half he lost the ball on a dribble. Awful game from him.
  • Casey seems like he's still in South Africa. He's been out of sync with the team for the last two games, and late in this game he was standing in an offside position for a noticeable amount of time without making any effort to get back into the play.
  • As much as I liked the Noonan trade, so far he's brought nothing to the table. With Cummings returning from the Gold Cup next week and Facundo Diz rumored to be incoming, I think Noonan's chance to earn even the fist forward off the bench spot may be up.
  • Peterson's two shots on goal early were the only shots on target other than Kimura''s goal. For the amount of possession we had, that's unacceptable.
  • This may have been Cooke's last game as a Rapid. If we've truly signed Jamie Smith then I don't see how we can play them both and its pointless to have one of them on the bench.
Player of the Game: Kosuke Kimura. He was the Player of the Game before he scored the winning goal. He showed more hustle and desire than anyone else on the field, and his owning of Brek Shea was a highlight. Kimura is quickly becoming one of my favorite Rapids.


B! said...

I am hoping that Noonan slots into the role Mehdi "The Black Hole" Ballouchy currently occupies. Noonan has show a handful of sparks and couldn't be worse than Ballouchy at that spot...

Anonymous said...

Ballouchy is usually The Black Hole. I feel ill when I see him take the field. Noonan has not impressed me yet, there is still time. Kimura on the other hand is this team's Messiah. Some of the plays he's participated in are mind blowing. Not shocked he saved the day.

Jester said...

Labrocca's yellow card was for disent.
Kimura was an animal. With all the new arrivals, he is definitely going to make it hard for Smith to leave him out of the line up. He is looking like our best option at a couple different positions right now.