Monday, March 21, 2011

Rapids Fell The Timbers

That's how you start a season! The Rapids celebrated their championship and then did what champions do, put an end to an expansion team's hope early and often.

8 minutes in Omar Cummings proved that he's only gotten better, splitting two defenders at the corner flag and pulling his patented run at the box and cross move. The ball squirted free to an on-rushing Ginger Ninja and the Rapids season started with a bang! 20 minutes later it was Omar's turn to get on the board as he took a long ball off of Casey's head and bore down on former Rapids and current Timber keeper Adin Brown. Brown made the initial save but the ball popped free and fell to Cummings' feet (from a fortuitous bounce off of his shoulder/chest area) and Omar hit the empty net to double the score. We had barely sat down after that celebration when Jaime Smith ended up with the ball 30+ yards from goal with nobody in front of him and hammered it home off the crossbar to give the Rapids a 3-0 lead in 30 minutes.

For the rest of the game the Rapids took the air out of the ball and worked on their passing drills. The Timbers only threatened one time, a innocuous free kick from about 30 years that sneaked under the wall and past Matt Pickens for the Timbers' first goal in MLS history. Colorado put Amarikwa and newcomer Sanna Nyassi in the game and the two of them decided that they wanted another goal, even of the rest of the team was done for the night. They didn't get it, but they made Adin Brown come up with a couple of big saves to deny them.

My key to the game was the team not overlooking this game and relaxing in the good feelings of the championship celebration. The way they came out you would have thought they just watched Salt Lake lift the trophy. resting on their laurels does not look like it will be a problem for this team.

Other Observations:
  • I love the subtext in the Rapids Champions sign. Its not "2010 MLS Champions", its a MLS Champions sign with a 2010 logo underneath it. The obvious inference is that the team plans to add more logos underneath the champions sign.
  • Leaving the flags at the seats made for a nice visual, well done by the Front Office.
  • Jaime Smith followed up his bomb of a goal with second bomb that Brown had to save in the second half. that's a nice added weapon to have coming out of midfield.
  • Sanna Nyassi looked like a great pickup. Its only one game but he's a nice late game sub.
  • Amarikwa looks to have improved significantly in the offseason. He's still got a ways to go though. I can see him being the next success story of the Rapids reserve side.
  • Pablo was a bit lucky not to see red on his card. That could have gone either way.
  • I'm not sure the last time a MLS team started the season with the same starting XI they started in MLS Cup.
  • Its great to be back in season!
Player of the Game: Omar Cummings. A goal and an assist. He was quick to show that the biggest move the Rapids made in the offseason was not making a move by not selling him.

No comments: