Monday, June 7, 2010

Who Could Ask For Anything Moor?

The Rapids pulled out a big win on Saturday night, beating the second best team in the league while down a man. Drew Moor had the game winner int he last 10 minutes after a contentious second half led to a red card for Pablo Mastroeni,

I don't have much to say about the first half. Unfortunately my office texted me with a website issue right as the game started and I spent a good chunk of the first half texting people about it, in between watching snippets of the game. What I saw looked like the Rapids controlled much of the play, but couldn't generate great chances.

In the second half Colorado continued to pressure the Crew, taking advantage of the altitude against a team who had already played this week. The game changed in the 76th minute after Mastroeni saw red (more on this below) and the team seemed to be satisfied to get a 0-0 draw. A good chance was generated when Cummings was fouled outside the box. Jamie Smith stepped up to float the free kick in and Drew Moor got over his man to head the game winner home. After that the Rapids just had to shut the Crew down for about 10 minutes and they claimed the 3 points.

There were three big calls from the ref in this game and none of them were nailed dead on in my opinion. In the first half Cummings went down in the box, a bit of a dive, and Casey complained to the ref about it. In the process Casey put his elbow up to the ref to demonstrate what the Crew player had done from Casey's POV. In the process Casey made contact with the ref with his elbow. Technically a yellow card, but Casey was demonstrating something and not aggressively making contact with the ref. I think that's something the ref should have let go, instead he immediately produced a yellow card after being touched.

In the second half Casey committed a bad tackle in the Rapids offensive end. It was pretty obviously a yellow card. The ref gave him a warning. I think that the ref felt that sending Casey off for a second yellow after the weak first yellow was a bit unfair, but it really was pretty close to a textbook yellow. Casey was lucky to stay on the field.

The big call was the red card. Pablo was fouled and taken to the turf by Lenhart. After the whistle was blown for the foul Lenhart kicked the ball directly at Pablo on the ground, not very hard, but it was obviously intentional. Pablo, incensed by being hit by the ball, lunged at Lenhart from the ground, making contact with an open hand on his leg and swinging and missing with either his other open hand or fist. The ref immediately appeared to show Lenhart a red and then a yellow card. Once the confusion got sorted out we found out the red was intended for Pablo. Honestly I'm not sure Pablo's lunge was red-worthy, but it could have gone either way. What was clear to me though is that both players struck the other after the whistle, one with is hand and/or fist, and one with the ball. to me that merits equal punishment. Giving Pablo a red and Lenhart a yellow was not the right call. Pablo made things worse by going ape-$hit and refusing to leave the field, which will probably result in an additional game suspension.

My key to the game was GBS vs. Pablo. Schelotto had one good chance that he shanked, otherwise he was fairly quiet all game. Obviously Pablo had a significant impact ont he game though.

Other Observations:
  • The Rapids are now up to 3rd in pts/game, behind only LA and Columbus.
  • Very good move by Gary Smith in subbing Casey off when he did. He had just escaped a second yellow and I think any questionable foul the rest of the game would have gotten him that card.
  • Good to see Jamie Smith get back to playing.
  • Of course the week I finally decide that Wells Thompson is now the starter on the left, Clark gets the starting spot back. Good move though.
  • One of the thins I missed int eh first half was Baudet and Pickens having a shouting match. I have no idea why, but we pitched a shutout so it couldn't have been too disastrous.
  • hopefully Baudet's limp wasn't an indicator of a worse injury.
  • Danny Earls still seemed a bit off in this game. Hopefully he can get out of this funk soon.
  • Cummings still seems to not be able to put the final touch on his play. He has great ideas, but the final pass or shot to get them there doesn't happen.
Player of the Game: Drew Moor. I was already leaning towards giving him the MOTM award based on his defensive play and keeping the Crew quiet. Once he scored the goal though, it was an easy choice.

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