Monday, September 14, 2009

Reds Turn Tables On Rapids Reserves

An undermanned Rapids squad traveled North of the border for the back end of the home-and-home series with Toronto. The Rapids were hurt by a ton of injuries, suspensions, and players unable to travel, taking only the minimum 18 players with them to Canada. The changes in the team showed as Toronto dominated much of the play.

The first half was some ugly soccer topped off by an goal by Toronto's Dwayne DeRosario in the 19th minute. Too many men in the box while Dalby was AWOL and Baudet did his best. The shot took a deflection and an odd bounce to beat Burpo. As the Rapids have done all year they came out of the locker rooms firing and 4 miuntes into the second half Kimura found Casey on a long high cross that Conor put away for his league leading 13th goal. It started to look like the Rapids might steal a draw but in the 74th minute Toronto's DeRosario and White combined for one of the better goals I've seen this year. DeRo one touched the ball up over Baudet, the ball spun back on the bounce to whit's foot and he chipped up over the onrushing Burpo and dropped it just under the crossbar. 9 times out of 10 either the assist or the shot is off just enough that the ball doesn't go in, it was just unlucky that this was the 1 out of 10 times it worked.

The goal seemed to put the Rapids back on their heels. 3 minutes later off a corner kick two Toronto players beat the Rapids defense to the ball and Attakora headed it home for a 3-1 lead. The Rapids wouldn't lay down though and rookie Michael Holody got a piece of the ball in the box, spun, and slotted it home to make it 3-2 in the 88th minute. Despite pressing for the equalizer the Rapids ended the game empty handed.

My key to the game was how well Casey and Cummings generated chances. I didn't expect much from the midfield and other than Peterson we didn't get much. Outside the 2 goals the Rapids only got 3 other shots on target, and they were all weak shots hat were easy to save. It was going to be a tough game for the offense but I thought 2 goals would have been enough. I didn't expect the defense to give up 3.

Other Observations:
  • Pablo's an idiot. His head-hunting in the Houston game directly contributed to this loss IMO. Dalby was awful (more on that later) and the first teo goals were the type of goals Pablo would have broken up.
  • That said, all 3 goals were well taken and well-deserved. Only on the 3rd goal was the defense really at fault, the first one was Baudet covering the more dangerous player while the other one got a lucky bounce and the second was just class by the Toronto offense.
  • Noonan, Dalby, you were crap. Noonan had to be subbed at half because he was bringing nothing to the game and I'm sure if we had another option on our stretched team Dalby would have come out as well. I thought the Noonan trade was a good one, but I was wrong.
  • I've hammered Peterson more than once so he deserves the credit for having a good game on Saturday. He was dangerous and forced the Toronto defense to deal with him.
  • Burpo did a decent job in unexpected relief of Pickens. Nothing special but nothing he could have done to stop the goals either
  • Nice job by Holody to get a goal in his second pro appearance
  • Credit to the team for continuing to fight. In the past we've seen Rapids teams that would have just rolled over and taken the loss when they went down 3-1, but the team kept battling, got back to 3-2, and then tried to push for the draw
  • Not that a loss is ever good, but this is about as "good" a loss as we could have. We only lost by 1, keeping our goal differential high, and there were no cards or injuries
  • In the long run the key to this game was the fact that with everyone healthy we could have a starting XI that only included 4 players from this game (Our forwards and wingbacks). This really was a second team that went on the road and almost pulled out a draw against Toronto.
Player of the Game: Omar Cummings. Nobody really stood out in this game but Omar was his normal busy self setting up everyone else. He got his 12th assist of the year on Casey's goal.

No comments: