Monday, May 17, 2010

Rapids Get First Win In DC This Millennium

The Rapids did something they hadn't done since 1999, won in the nation's capital. Unfortunately I'm not sure they played significantly better than they did in their prior two 1-0 losses. The breaks just went Colorado's way Saturday night.

As it has for the last 3 games the Rapids 4-5-1 formation allowed the Rapids to control possession for long stretches. Unfortunately once again they could not turn the possession into goals. Colorado did not have a shot on goal in the first half, with their best chance being a great cross to Casey's head that somehow Conor whiffed on, not even forcing the DC keeper to sweat.

The second half started much as the first, with more possession with no shots. Finally at the midway point Ballouchy decided to take it upon himself and dribbled a ball into the box, rounded a defender, and beat the keeper near post in a nice display of skill. After that the gates seemed to open for the Rapids chances. Both Clark and Ballouchy hit the posts on shots and Cummings had a goal stolen from him by a miracle kick save from DC's keeper. The continued pressure was enough to protect the 1 goal lead and get Colorado the 3 points.

My key to the game was the ability of the forwards to turn our possession into good chances. It didn't happen. Casey had on real good look and blew it, and Cummings only had the one good look (which admittedly would have beat the keeper 9 out of 10 times). Once again the forwards were bailed out by the midfielders, like they were in New England a month ago.

Other Observations:
  • The rapids have now won more games on the road in their first 5 this year than they won all of last year.
  • The defense looked pretty lax most of the game. They had no problem stopping DC's attacks, but then they were happy to sit on the ball or wait for the ball to come to them, which led to a number of close calls.
  • I've heard third-hand that there's no health problem with Colin. If so, why isn't he starting? Clark came on for Thompson right after the goal, and suddenly the Rapids were much more dangerous.
  • Cummings is needed on the right because we don't have a better option, but it really hurts his ability to get to goal.
  • We played well enough to beat DC, but DC is a bad team. We still need to do better to beat Seattle and Columbus, our next opponents.
Player of the Game: Mehdi Ballouchy. Its not often that he has that good of a game so I have to give him the nod. Honorable mention to Marvell Wynne who looked great back on the outside.

No comments: