Monday, November 22, 2010

The Rapids Win The Cup!!!!


What a game! Highs, lows, and what just happened! moments all over the place. I'm going to dispense with the normal post-game recap as I'm assuming anyone who's reading this has a least watched the highlights if not the whole game, and I'm not sure if I could really recap everything anyway. Just a few notes about the more important moments in the game.

The PK that wasn't early in the game was a mess. Honestly all 3 players involved could have been called for a foul. I can almost see letting everything go except the attempted kick at Casey. That has to be a card, and in the box, a penalty. Or if a more strict ref is calling the game, the first fouls get called and the kick never happens. Either way, poorly handled.

Dallas' goal was just a beautiful sequence. They took advantage of Wallace playing off and found space to send in the cross, and league MVP Ferreira found the open space between Moor and Wynne. Well played all around.

Casey's goal was the ugliest beautiful goal you'll ever see, at least until Kandji forced an own goal. A 3 way collision between Hartman, Ihemelu, and Casey ended up with only Casey finding the ball and poking it into the net from his backside. This isn't college football though, you don't get points for style and they all count equally.

Kevin Hartman must have sold his soul to somebody with the way he played this post-season. His save on Ginger Ninja's free kick was amazing. The ball was shielded and curving away from him. A goal there, just 5 minutes after the Rapids leveled the score, might have put Dallas away.

Kandji gave everything for the team, including his knee, to score the winning goal. Sometimes you just have to put it in the mixer and hope something good happens. It was a "lucky" goal, but it happened because Colorado was putting on pressure. Hopefully the knee is no worse than the expected hyper-extension. It looked like his leg could have been broken.

Matt Pickens save with 3 minutes remaining? Incredible. Everyone at the Celtic thought we had given up the tying goal. We were discussing it post-game and nobody could think of another save like that to preserve a win in extra time in any of the leagues or Cups we've watched.

Drew Moor - Ironman. He played every minute of every regular season game (2700 minutes). He played every minute of the 3 playoff games, including the 30 extra minutes in Columbus (300 minutes). All of that, and in the 120th and final minute of the final he's in position to clear the tying goal off the line. 3120 minutes in a season has to be some sort of MLS record.

My keys to the game were controlling midfield, especially Ferreira, and the goalkeepers. Well Ferreria got free once, but the rough style of play favored the Rapids midfield and they used it to full effect. Both keepers came up huge once, so that was a draw.

Other Observations:
  • Great time at the Celtic, even through the pressure. The confetti got a bit out of hand, so a bit of a mess got left. I hope they understand.
  • That's 5 for 5 against Dallas in the playoffs!
  • Lousy officiating by Toledo. He let everything go and quickly lost control of the game. That's how you end up with both Cummings and Kandji being injured and Casey knocking everyone in sight over.
  • Larentowicz had a great game. He was stealing balls and breaking up any attack that came through the middle. Great to see him get a ring after 3 lost MLS Cups with New England.
  • Dallas is a bunch of punks and I was very disappointed with them. Daniel "No offense to the Eastern Champs, but this game was the championship" Hernandez waited for the ref to turn his back and smacked Thompson on the head. Hartman got into Kandji's face while he was coming off injured. Twice Casey was out and out kicked with no attempt to play the ball. Former Rapid Ugo Ihemelu actually pushed the hobbling Kandji as he was coming off the field. If Toledo hadn't last control of the game that should have been a red.
  • Cummings did not have a great night, but Dallas obviously went out there with the plan to prevent him from beating them. Too bad it was the player that subbed in for him that beat them!
  • Wallace struggled at times, bringing Baudet in for him was a good move.
  • Mullan was strong but silent in adding a 5th ring to his hand.
  • Pablo caps off perhaps his best year as a Rapid by getting a trophy after 13 years in the league. Its great that he finally got the reward he deserved.
  • Great to see the team celebrate with the fans by taking a trip around the stadium with the trophy.
  • The team is having a rally at Skyline Park South, on Arapahoe between 15th and 16th, tomorrow at 4!
Player of the Game: Denver South's Conor Casey. A goal, an unofficial assist, and constant pressure all night keeping Dallas from getting into their groove. Matt Pickens could have also gotten the nod, but Casey bringing a championship back to where he grew up gives him the edge.

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