Monday, October 18, 2010


That's right, after 4 long years the Rapids are back in the playoffs. They had their spot clinched when New England beat Kansas City about 30 minutes before kickoff, but Colorado didn't want to be seen as backing into the post-season. So they went out and beat LA up and down the HDC pitch in a 3-1 win. After an early goal by Edson Buddle off a deflection by Drew Moor the Rapids took control. Edson Buddle returned the favor, having a Sean Franklin clearance go off his back for an own goal.

12 minutes later the Rapids scored through a textbook Cummings-Casey paring. Omar took the ball down the right side, got into open space, and sent a cross along the ground into the box towards an on-rushing Casey who one-timed it into the net for a 2-1 lead. Rapids fans have seen that exact play numerous times in the last couple of years, apparently the LA defense didn't watch the tapes. LA had some chances before half but Matt Pickens was up to the challenge.

After halftime the Rapids got a bit lucky. Thompson, a surprise start at left back, picked up a yellow early in the game. In about the 60th minute he hauled down Landon Donovan on a play that should have been a second yellow, but it wasn't given. Who knows what happens if the Rapids go down a man there. The Rapids took advantage as Cummings and Casey exchanged places. in the 67 minute. Casey brought the ball up the middle and pushed it through the LA defense where Cummings was running onto it and hit a shot to the far post to end LA's hopes to claim the Supporter's Shield on Saturday.

My key to the game was Landon Donovan. Landon who? He was pretty much invisible in the game except when he was yelling at the ref. To be fair to him though, he should have picked up the second yellow on Wells Thompson which may have changed the game.

Other Observations:
  • Back in the playoffs! The Rapids will be either the 3rd or 4th seed in the East or the 4th seed in the West. The two San Jose games and the Seattle game will all have an effect on where we end up along with our Rocky Mountain Cup match next Saturday.
  • Colorado's home playoff game will be sometime between Oct. 28th and Oct. 30th. A decision will be made after all the playoff spots are set next weekend.
  • 4 years, 5 months, 10 days and 69 games. That's how long it had been since the Rapids gave up the first goal in a regular-season league match and won the game. Glad to get that monkey off our back.
  • Wells Thompson gave a good effort at left back, but let's not do that again. He's clearly not a left back. Danny Earls hasn't been consistent, but he's done better than that.
  • Cummings and Casey have now combined for 49 goals in the last two seasons. Best strike duo in MLS?
  • Honestly, you couldn't tell that Landon Donovan and David Beckham, two of the three biggest names in MLS, were on the field for this one. Well done by the whole team, but Pablo gets particular credit in keeping them from getting anything started.
  • Wynne and Moor have become a very good center back pairing. I think Moor's our defensive player of the year but its a tough choice.
  • Koz seemed to mentally tire during this game, making worse decisions as the game got later and later. Hopefully that's just a one time thing.
  • Mullan and Smith didn't show up on the scoresheet, but their presence on the wings helped free up space for the Dynamic Duo to do their thing.
  • Its going to be nice to go to the final game of the season not looking over our shoulders for a playoff spot.
Player of the Game: Matt Pickens. He could do nothing about the odd deflection that lead to the LA goal, but other than that every time LA thought they had a chance Pickens was there to shut it down.

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