Thursday, April 14, 2011

4 Man Refs Beat 11 Man Rapids

The undermanned Rapids played Fake Salt Lake even for 92 minutes. Then the refs got involved and the Rapids were out-manned 15 to 11 which resulted in a 1-0 loss.

The weather was as bad as we've seen it in years, cold, wet, window, and snow at the end. This may have been an equalizer for the teams as the Rapids were missing 3 starters (Casey, Mastroeni, Wallace) and lost two more players to injury during the game (Amarikwa, Smith). Despite that the Rapids out shot FSL and while ceding the majority of possession had battled them to a 0-0 draw.

Then, in the 92nd minute, Brian Mullan was whistled for a foul outside the area. The foul was a bit iffy given what had gone uncalled earlier int he game, but it wasn't completely wrong. On the ensuing free kick FSL hit the near post. The rebound fell to Paulo who muffed it and bounced it forward to Espidola. Espindola poked it into the back of the net for the winning goal. The only problem is that Espindola was a good yard offside when Paulo muffed the ball. Its not even close when you look at the replays. It should have been waved off and the Rapids would have been able to run the clock out on the ensuing free kick, taking a big point out of Sandy. Instead FSl got all 3 points and we got hosed.

My key to the game was possession. Our possession was significantly improved this game and this allowed up to keep FSL from having too many significant chances.

Other Observations:
  • Despite getting hosed by the refs it was a good game from the Rapids. Given the number of injuries the Rapids looked equal to the team many think to be significantly better than any other in the league.
  • Cummings wasn't happy about coming out. I wasn't thrilled with the move, and it really hurt when Amarikwa got injured just a minute after coming on. That's some bad luck.
  • Jamie Smith had a great night in the middle of the park. Clearly he's not sending Pablo to the bench but its good to know that we have that option when we need it,
  • Folan's game against DC is looking like a bit of a flash-in-the-pan but let's see what he can do when our full midfield is there to support him.
  • As bad as the refs screwed up on the final goal, they were great with their offside calls the rest of the night.
  • The Rapids now need a 2 goal or better win in the final home game of the year to claim the Rocky Mountain Cup.
  • Next up, a 5 game stretch against beatable teams (Seattle, Chicago, @Houston, @New England, @DC)
Player of the Game: Tyrone Marshall. Getting his first start with a new back line he was solid. Jamie Smith was also in the running.

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