Monday, July 27, 2009

Red Bull Gives (Opposing Teams) Wings!

Red Bull is apparently just what the doctor ordered for the Rapids. In a game the Rapids controlled from start to finish they never took their foot off a pedal and did exactly what a team is supposed to do when facing weaker opposition by giving them a 4-0 beat down.

The first half started with a bang as Cummings took a Ihemelu pass deep into the corner and crossed the ball in front of the net where Jacob Peterson beat former Rapids keeper Bouna Coundoul for the early lead. After that RBNY had 2 good chances that Pickens had to come up big against, plus a third that Pickens forced to go off the post. It looked like RBNY was going to get back in the game until two different incidents involving NY striker Sinisa Ubiparipovic changed the game. First in the 34th minute a ball was served over the top to him and as he went to make a play on it Rapids defender Julian Baudey came flying in to clear the ball. In the process he slammed into Ubiparipovic, knocking his tooth out. Baudet got the worst of it though as as he tumbled to the ground he fell onto his left arm and had to leave due to injury. 12 minutes later Ubiparipovic lunged into a studs up tackle on Scott Palguta and swept Palguta's plant foot out with his trailing leg. He was properly shown a red card and RBNY played the second half a man down. Colorado would make them pay.

1 minute into the second half Pablo Mastroeni played a through ball to Pat Noonan who broke the offside trap to go in 1v1 on Bouna Time! Noonan got Bouna to go to ground and pushed the ball past him for his first goal as a Rapid and a 2-0 lead. The game was over at this point as the fight went out of the Red Bulls. Colorado wasn't done though. 15 minutes later Coundoul saved a shot from Ballouchy but gave up a soft rebound and Nick LaBrocca was in place to put it away. At this point both teams just played out the game, with the Rapids having long spells of possession (When the fans get tired of the Ole! chant in the 70th minute, you know the other team has quit). A minor foul outside the box in the 67th minute was expected to amount to nothing, but Ballouchy hit possibly the best free kick of his career and bended the ball around the wall for a 4-0 lead. At that point the game was truly over.

My key to the game focus. I was concerned the Rapids might overlook a historically bad Red Bulls side. Clearly the Rapids didn't do that and came out firing.

Other Observations:
  • The bad news for the Rapids was the injury to Baudet. Reports today say that he broke both bones in his arm when he fell on it. I have to assume that will put him IR for quite some time, if not the rest of the season.
  • The silver lining in the injury, if there is one, is that players on IR don't count towards the roster limit, so if he does go on IR the Rapids won't have to move a player to sign Jamie Smith.
  • We got goals from unusual places in this game. Combined the 4 goalscorers had 3 goals on the season going into the game. It was the first goal of the year for Noonan and the second goals of the year for Peterson, LaBrocca, and Ballouchy.
  • Cummings deserves an honorable mention in the MOTM voting. He was setting up balls all night. He only got one assist officially, but his was his dangerous play that opened up the opportunities for everyone else.
  • Cooke looked pretty dejected after the game. Its obvious that he thinks his time in Colorado is over.
  • It was good to see new signing Facundo Diz get 20 minutes or so. The game was so dead at that point it was hard to see much, but he didn't embarrass himself.
  • We're going into a rough set of 4 games against Columbus, Chivas, Chicago, and Houston. At least Chicago is the only game on the road.
Player of the Game: Matt Pickens. he kept us in the game when it was still 1-0. If RBNY had found some hope by tying the game it may have been a very different result.

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