Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rapids Felled Again By Their Kryptonite, Set Pieces

The LA Galaxy showed why they're the class of MLS this year, but the Rapids also showed that they could hang with them. The only problem was that our forwards left their shooting boots in the locker room.

LA came out and looked dangerous from the opening whistle, generating two good chances int eh first 5 minutes. For the first 20 minutes the Rapids were back on their heels, but could have changed the game. Ballouchy sprung Cummings with a 1 on 1 and nobody close. Rickketts charged out and somehow Cummings couldn't even get a shot on target despite Ricketts not getting a touch on it. That set the tone for the rest of the game.

In the 21st minute Baudet reached around PrimaDonnavan and caught his elbow with his leg, which Landon sold for everything it was worth and got the foul call. On the ensuing free kick the combination of Wynne, Moor, and Baudet only managed to cover 2 of their 3 men, leaving Alan Gordon free to put a diving header past Matt Pickens. Once again, as we've seen in 6 of the 7 goals we've given up, we got burned on a free kick.

After this point though the game was much more even, and I would say that the Rapids controlled the game more after that. The problem was though that most of our dangerous chances either went off target or right at the LA keeper. Ricketts only had to work for 2 saves. That was the difference in the game as while LA got a couple of good chances the defense was up for them.

My key to the game was Edson Buddle, and the defense did a great job keeping him off the board. He had one good chance that he bottled, but otherwise he wasn't much of a threat. The only other team to stop him this season was KC.

Other Observations:
  • LA is now 9 points ahead of everyone in the West. We won't be seeing them get close to us for a while.
  • Kimura was a pregame scratch from the lineup, which might explain the confusion on the free kick.
  • Earls started in Kimura's place, and I hat to say it since I love Koz, but I think that Earls has taken his spot int he starting XI
  • Can we end the Thompson over Clark experiment? For the whole first half I don't think Thompson made a single run when Earls had the ball.
  • Casey played well, when he had help to play off of. Too often he got the ball with nobody around.
  • Lopez didn't look great in his 20 minutes. At one point Clint Mathis made him struggle.
  • Just under 10K in attendance was a surprisingly high number.
Player of the Game: Julian Baudet. Even though he committed the foul that set up the goal he was a Beast in central defense last night. Not only that but he got forward a couple of times and was a dangerous man on corner kicks.

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