Monday, August 30, 2010

Rapids Strike Early And Often

Colorado took a quarter of the game to knock Houston out on Saturday night, then spend the remaining time playing kickball. So much for my predicted 1-0 frustrating win. Less than 2 minutes in Jamie Smith took a through ball from Casey and put it past Dynamo keeper Pat Onstad for an early lead. The game was essentially over 8 minutes later as Palmer was given a straight red card for an elbow to the face of Pablo followed by a kick at Pablo while he was on the ground (Pablo also got a yellow for kicking). Up a goal and a man at home the Rapids had control. They finished off Houston with a Cummings goal off a Casey cross in the 16th minute and Casey finally scored on his own after Ballouchy's shot was saved right to his head while he was unmarked in front of the net in the 23rd minute. Up 3 and a man 23 minutes in it was game over. The rest of the match was spent making sure nobody got hurt and not over-doing it.

My key to the game was stopping Brian Ching. He was quiet in the first half, and the Dynamo use their 3rd sub at halftime to bring him out of the game as they ran up the white flag of surrender.

Other Observations:
  • Pickens got back spasms right before game time so Ian Joyce unexpectedly got his first MLS start. I was nervous but he did fine. The early lead probably helped him.
  • Not good to see Wynne going off with a hamstring injury, hopefully its minor.
  • Jamie Smith's best game as a Rapid. He lived up to the talk that the coaches have given him.
  • Casey should have made the score 4-0 in the second half but couldn't put a shot on net in a 1v1 situation. Not a problem when you're up 3-0, but you have to put those away usually.
  • Again the 4-4-2 made Cummings more dangerous and took some pressure off of Casey.
  • Some Dynamo fans are complaining that Pablo didn't get the same card that Pablo did, but I don't think they're taking into consideration that the foul itself was yellow card worthy before the kicking on the ground started.
  • Good results from the rest of the league moved the Rapids up to 7th this week and made it less likely that they'll be caught for their playoff spot. That said, we need to win the games we're supposed to win, we can't relax.
Player of the Game: Conor Casey. 2 assists and a goal made this an obvious choice, but honorable mention to Jamie Smith.

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