Monday, March 28, 2011

Down Goes Fraser!

Well that was some ugly soccer played on Saturday night. The Rapids midfield couldn't hold the ball and the Colorado forwards couldn't do much with it when they did get it. Despite that the Rapids managed to get a win over Chivas while only getting a combined 11 minutes out of the C+C Goal Factory.

Casey was a late scratch from the starting XI, which means Quincy Amarikwa got his 4th ever MLS start and Caleb Folan got into his first MLS game through the starting lineup. Otherwise it was the same group that started against Portland. Unfortunately it wasn't the same level of play. While Pickens and the back 4 were on their game the ball seemed to get to midfield and die. Mullan was pretty invisible and Pablo and Larentowicz seemed to only have their defensive game. In the 32nd minute they finally put all the pieces together and Jamie Smith sprung Amarikwa behind the defense. Q ran onto the ball and tapped it past an on-rushing Snack Thornton. He also had to hurdle the onrushing Snack Thornton in order to complete the play. After his 110m hurdles he had an empty net to finish in and give the Rapids a 1-0 lead.

After that it was a dull game played mainly in midfield. Outside of he goal each team only had 1 shot on goal, a shot right at Thornton by Folan and a cross/shot that Pickens had to tip off the crossbar by Chivas USA. The more interesting was the number of yellow cards handed out. Pickens got one for dissent after Justin Braun tossed Brian Mullan to the ground and Wallace, Casey, and Pablo got them for time wasting. Somehow that added up to 6(!) minutes of stoppage, most of which Chivas failed to look dangerous in.

My key to the game was Cummings replacement. Turns out that both Cummings and Casey were replaced. Still the forwards got the job done, you only need one goal when your defense keeps the other side from scoring.

Stats of the Game: There are two stats from this week's game.
  • With the win the Rapids have started 2-0-0 for the first time in their history.
  • This was the first time since Oct 12th, 2008 that neither Casey or Cummings started in a league match.
Other Observations:
  • As bad as I made the offense sound, the defense was airtight. The tip off the crossbar was the only attack of any danger from Chivas.
  • Drew Moor had his typical quietly solid game. He's perhaps the most underrated defender in the league.
  • I'm not sure if putting Casey in the game was necessary, but the holding up front was much better once he came in.
  • Larentowicz looked to have a case for a red card and PK on a handball off the line. Its really hard to tell from the replay but it looked like it came off an extended arm.
  • The cards for time wasting on Wallace and Pablo we're really ticky-tack. Casey deserved his though.
Player of the Game: Jamie Smith. In a game where most of the midfield seemed AWOL most of our successful attacks came through him. He also had a great pass for the assist on the goal.

No comments: