Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rain Dampens On-Field Fireworks

The 4th of July game was more of a fizzle than a bang, largely due to the torrential downpour that hovered over Commerce City most of the night. The Rapids started well, getting a beautiful goal from Omar Cummings in the 15th minute. Casey got loose on the right on a counter-attack and Cummings read the play well, sprinting all the way down the field to take the pinpoint cross from Casey and tuck it past a diving Bouna on the near post. Colorado appeared to double their lead 5 minutes later on an almost identical play, except with Ballouchy applying the finish. However referee Toledo decided that the collision between Casey and Borman that started the Rapids break, while not a foul at the time, must have been a foul when the Rapids scored so he waved the goal off and restarted play with a NY free kick at the point of the collision. Of course he waited 2 passes and 10+ seconds before making that decision. Horrendous refereeing.

The Red Bulls took advantage of their second life less than 15 minutes later. On a corner kick Angel found space between Drew Moor and Casey at the top of the 6 yard box to bring the ball down, and a striker as good as Angel isn't going to miss an unmarked shot from there. That was NY's one really good chance, they threatened a couple of other times but the Rapids defense was always up to it. By the last 20 minutes or so, in the driving rain, NY decided getting a point on the road was good enough and packed it in to, successfully, protect the draw. The Rapids had plenty of chances but couldn't convert.

My key to the game was Juan Pablo Angel. For all but 5 seconds of the game the Rapids defense did a great job denying him the ball in dangerous positions. Unfortunately those 5 seconds was all JPA needed to get NY a point.

Other Observations:
  • On the Red Bulls goal Drew Moor made a good play to head the ball away, but was an inch or two too short. Casey needs to back him up and not be moving away from the play.
  • The team is picking up bad habits from Casey and Pablo. Last week it was Cummings looking for calls late, this week it was Clark. Really, its OK to have one Pablo on the team, you need somebody to get in the ref's mind, but more than that is a problem.
  • Clark's play has not recovered from his ACL injury. I think he's the better long-term prospect, but right now Jamie Smith is correctly starting.
  • I just want to call attention to the Rapids goal again. It was a think of beauty from both Casey, with a great pass, and Cummings, to read the play and get into position to take the pass.
  • Good to see Koz back! I think his best spot is coming off the bench if Baudet is good enough to start, but he gives Gary Smith a lot of flexibility in the back.
  • I need to tip my hat to Bouna Time!. In the second half Casey went in late for a loose ball and collided pretty heavily with Bouna. Many goalkeepers would have milked the collision to get Casey carded (and it wouldn't have been that harsh of a call). instead Bouna hopped up, he and Casey traded pats on the back, and they kept playing. the whole time one of Bouna's teammates was trying to get the card on Casey, even while the game restarted. Classy move from the former Rapids keeper.
  • We're on a 6 game unbeaten streak, but we've gotten 3 draws in the last 3 games. We need to convert those draws into wins if we're going to keep up with teams like FSL, Columbus, and NY.
Player of the Game: Marvell Wynne. He started on the right and combined well with Omar Cummings to create chances on the right. Shortly after half he was move to the center to contain Dane Richards and completely shut down the chances that were coming in that way. A great performance in two different roles.

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