Monday, July 20, 2009

Smith Leads Rapids To Destruction

(Now just replace the kicker with Christian Gomez and the kickee with Pablo and you have a good image of what happened on Saturday)

I'm going to dispense with my standard recap of the 3-1 loss in DC. Just assume it was crap and move on. Instead here's just some extended thoughts on what I saw.

This lineup and sub patterns were straight out of Clavijo's playbook. A new formation (4-5-1) with 2 new starters (Dalby, Baudet) and then when forced to sub instead of sliding Palguta over to where he's used to playing and bringing Harvey into his natural position he introduces Harden, another player with essentially no experience with this group. Our defensive incompetence should be no surprise.

Pablo had an impressively bad 10 minutes after half time. First he gets called for a PK (admittedly a very very weak PK) then he does his best Mike Burns impression in letting the second goal get between him and the near post. But Baudet made him look good when The Beast couldn't even successfully let the ball clear and allowed Christian Gomez to get around him.

Of course, the only thing more incompetent was the Altitude broadcast. The first 20 minutes was shown in a compressed screen, the cut-aways are awful, having Lopez (ugh) and Balboa in Denver means they can't even tell when a goal is scored or a card is given. Just garbage. I'd almost rather Altitude do no broadcasts and be guaranteed to get some professional coverage by spending $79 to get Direct Kick and the oppositions broadcasts than deal with the crap Altitude throws up there for free. Get what you pay for I guess.

How the hell Fred stayed in this game is beyond me. He had a yellow and then that spiking of Gibbs' knee, while not intentional, was clearly dangerous play and should have drawn a second yellow. Fred even turned to show the ref his number like he expected a card. When the DC fans are saying he should have been tossed you know the ref blew it.

If we had started our normal starting 11 with Baudet in for Gibbs or Palguta I'm not sure we win this game, but we have a good chance to draw it, and we don't look like a USL-2 squad in the back. The players (particularly Pablo) didn't play well, but this loss is squarely on Smith's shoulders.

My key to the game was defensive cohesiveness. Yeah, not so much.

Other Observations:
  • Conor Casey is a selfish moron. In the last couple of games he's picked up a yellow card for dissent and now one for delaying a restart. Both stupid mental errors that will force him to miss the next game due to yellow card accumulation. If he had gotten through the next game without a card he would have had one knocked off for good behavior. Instead he's put his team in a hole when we're already down a key component with Clark at the Gold Cup.
  • Peterson actually showed a little in this game. not enough for me to think he should get off the bench, but something.
  • Wow, talk about a bad start for Baudet. Couldn't even do a simple job like shepherding a ball over the line for a goal kick.
  • Cooke left on the bench when we're down 2. Yeah, he's done as a Rapid.
  • Why we benched Jordan Harvey, who's been our most consistent player all season, is beyond me.
Player of the Game: Nobody, this game should be wiped from the memory and we should move on


Still Stacy said...

The husband and I really starting to question Smith as a head coach. The past few games, it seems as if only half the team actually showed up to play. Is this because they lack confidence in what their coach is doing? Makes me wonder.

Direct Kick is overrated. We're disappointed by the number of games they don't show.

Jason Maxwell said...

Direct Kick shows everything that isn't Nationally televised on ESPN., FSC, or Telefutura. Not bad for $80. I have the $20 on-line version and its the best $20 I've spent this year. Maybe its cheaper to get a cable to hook my laptop to my TV then to pay the extra $60 to get the TV package...