Monday, August 23, 2010

Crew Sink Rapids On Soggy Night

The Rapids continued their futility in front of goal on Saturday night. While they controlled much of the play in the first half only a surprising combination between Ballouchy and Mastroeni got them on the scoreboard.

The game started poorly, with the Rapids unable to clear the ball from their own end and Pickens being forced to try to stop a charging Eddie Gaven. Pickens missed the ball, got Gaven, and GBS scored the resulting PK for a 1-0 Crew lead inside 7 minutes. Despite some of my fellow Rapids fans, I think the PK was legit if maybe a bit weak. The Rapids would have pretty much full control of the play for the rest of the have, but it wasn't until the start of stoppage time that they could convert the possession into points. Casey took a goal kick from Pickens, passed it to Pablo, who worked a nice one touch 1-2 with Ballouchy and slotted it past Hesmer to level the score going into halftime.

Unfortunately for Colorado that was the highlight of the night. In the second half the Crew proved while they're at the top of the East and chasing LA for the Shield while the Rapids are hanging on to the last playoff spot. Columbus took control of the game and converted it into 2 goals. The first came off a bad back header from Wynne that Pickens misplayed, leading to an easy goal by Garey. The final goal was off a GBS free kick that found not one but two open Crew players to play head balls in the box for an easy 3rd goal and the nail in the coffin.

My key to the game was the ability to create and finish more than the random chance a game. That would be a resounding no, as Hesmer never had to make a difficult save beyond Pablo's goal.

Other Observations:
  • Why did Jaime Smith not start? Wingers of Thompson and Ballouchy are useless.
  • One of these days Gary Smith needs to pick a back 4. Right now it appears to be Moor, Wynne, Baudet, and whatever name Smith draws out of the hat. Palguta was the name this week, and he was burned on the play that led to the PK.
  • Taking Cummings of for Amarikwa was throwing int he towel on the game. It saved Cummings from a possible yellow card suspension but it was still disappointing to see.
  • Pickens worst game this season, considering how good he's been he's allowed one.
  • Cummings has lost all ability to shoot on target, which isn't helping with our scoring.
  • This was always going to be a tough game to just get a draw in, much less a win. Still Columbus made it look easy in the second half.
  • The Rapids are in the final playoff spot, but Chicago is only 4 points back with 2 games in hand.
Player of the Game: Pablo Mastroeni. His second goal this season would be enough considering the last 5 years he's had 2 goals combined (his only other goals both came in 2001 with the Fusion) but he did well to push the offense and keep control of the midfield, GBS was only a threat on set plays.

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