Sunday, April 4, 2010

Elements Cancel Out For a Draw

Fire balances out water in alchemy, and the Fire balanced out the Rapids at the Dick yesterday. A 2-2 draw marred by inconsistent officiating and a Rapids team that went flat for the whole second half. Colorado started well, pressing the attack and getting an early goal from Omar Cummings. The Rapids defense on set pieces needs work, and it would hurt them on a Fire corner as last week's player of the game, Marvell Wynne, was shoved aside for a free header and a tying goal. The Rapids were up to the challenge and shortly before half Colin Clark was taken down in the box for a PK. Clark was looking for the call and didn't put up any resistance, he may have even been going down before contact, but there was contact from behind which will be a PK 90% of the time. Casey converted for his first gaol of the season and the Rapids took a 2-1 lead to the locker room.

The second half was much different. shortly after the break Marvell Wynne was beat in the box and while catching up Fire attacker Nyarko tripped and went down in the box for another PK call. Replays show no clear contact between Wynne and Nyarko, it appears that Nyarko may have tripped himself. None the less the McBride converted the PK to level the score at 2. The rest of the second half was a good deal of bad soccer, with neither team seeming real interested in getting the 3 points. The Rapids had a couple of chances, but nothing came of them and the teams split the points.

My key was to run the Fire ragged at altitude, but the Rapids showed no inclination in doing that, especially in the second half. Instead they seemed happy to only get 1 point at home, something we may regret by the end of the season.

Other Observations:
  • Many Rapids fans are going to want to blame the officials for the draw, but the Rapids really did it to themselves. There were a couple of bad calls on the PK and the lack of a call on Cummings at the end of the game, but for the most part the lack of interest in the second half is what did it, not the officiating.
  • Wynne showed his limitations at center back this game, getting muscled off his man easily and his reliance on his speed was a danger when he has to use it in the box.
  • Earls had a good game, being dangerous going forward and adding to the defense well. He looks to be a good find by the coaching staff.
  • Mastroeni and Larentowicz are doing a good job of stopping up the middle, but they're adding almost nothing to the attack. That may be what Smith wants, but it puts the onus of creating opportunities on the wings.
  • Ballouchy isn't capable of having that responsibility. He had a decent game and if he keeps playing like this he's a serviceable option off the bench. He's not a starter though.
  • Clark isn't 100% yet, he seems to have regressed to early last season where he's looking for fouls and cards instead of just making the best move to score. Hopefully he gets back to that as he gets back to his playing rhythm.
  • Thanks to Drew Moor for coming over and signing my jersey after the game!
Player of the Game: Omar Cummings. His second goal in 2 games and the only Rapid to be involved for all 90 minutes.

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