Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Colorado - KC = USA - Ghana

Now that my time with my family has ended I can get back to the blog. An ugly game by the Rapids saw them lose two points they should have won. I'm not going to go into too much detail, at this point anyone reading this will have already read about the game.

The Rapids gave up a goal in the first 20 minutes, as Gary Smith's lineup change came back to bite him. Smith inserted Palguta into Earl's role after Earl's poor play in the last few games. Palguta's inexperience with the rest of the back line caused him to miss stepping up on the onside trap, which allowed KC a 1v1 against Pickens and an easy goal.

The Rapids, once again, had no offensive ideas until Claudio Lopez was inserted into the game. Suddenly the Rapids looked dangerous, and the attacks paid off as Jamie Smith put Casey through into the box and with some nice footwork Casey buried the ball to level the score. Casey got a second chance in the 89th minute, getting past the keeper, but somehow, inexplicably, hit the post when shooting at an empty net. To be fair it was a tight angle, but the highest paid non-DP player in the league has to make that shot in the final minutes of the game.

This game reminded me a great deal of USA - Ghana last month. not in the quality (obviously) but in the situation. Both the U.S. and Colorado went down a goal early. Both used a sub in the first half and at halftime, both came back to get the draw with a late goal after the subs inspired better offensive play. As good as the Nats are, their style of play at the WC is not one we want to emulate.

My key to the game was a quick start. Yeah, not so much.

Other Observations:
  • We're about one game from me declaring we've hit our mid-summer "swoon". If we don't play any better in Seattle on Sunday it will be official.
  • Claudio Lopez needs to start, period. I don't care if we have to sub him shortly after half, I'd much rather be defending a 1-0 lead as he leaves than bringing him in to make up a 1-0 deficit.
  • Palguta - yuck. Everyone has a bad day, but, much like Rico Clark against Ghana, giving up a goal and getting a yellow in the first half means he deserved his benching.
  • As good as the 4-5-1 has been for our possession we need to go back to the 4-4-2 for a better attack.
  • We're now winless in 5. It better not be 6.
Player of the Game: The fans. 102 degree record high and lousy play by the Rapids most of the game. Anyone who managed to last through that showed more heart and desire than most of the Rapids on the field.

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