Monday, April 4, 2011

Hello Colorado, I'm Caleb Folan

In cold wintry weather the Rapids gave a surprise start to Caleb Folan. The weather must have reminded him of home or something as he rewarded the team with 2 goals and a dominating performance. There were less than 10K of us to see it, but it was worth the cold to watch the Rapids demolish DC.

The first half was quite dull, and some ugly soccer. Both teams had a whopping one shot on goal, DC around the 30th minute that Pickens saved and Colorado in the 38th minute that went for Folan's first goal as a Rapid. Larentowicz played a long ball behind the DC defense that Folan caught up to with a United defender on his hip. He faked the defender towards the outside, cut inside, and beat Onstad far post. Other than that the half was forgettable.

The first 25 minutes of the second half played out much the same way, though Colorado seemed to have more control of the game. combined the teams had 0 shots on goal in the second half by the 69th minute. Then the Rapids defense completely fell asleep and left Quaranta unmarked on the back post, and he didn't miss, leveling the score. That would be DC's 2nd and last shot on goal of the game.

After that the Rapids decided they needed to remind United who the champions were, starting just 67 seconds later as Anthony Wallace found a wide open Jamie Smith in the box and Smith nodded it home to retake the lead. This was followed 10 minutes later by a Folan header from a Nyassi cross for the 3rd goal and a Cummings goal off his head from an Amarikwa cross in the 92nd minute. The 4 Rapids goals represent their only 4 shots on goal all game, which is a pretty good conversion rate. ;)

My key to the game was the battle of the nines, #9 Davies vs. #9 Casey. Davies was a late scratch from the team that traveled to Colorado and Casey left the game in the 52nd minute with what appeared to be a tight hamstring. Neither one really had an effect on the game.

Other Observations:
  • Cummings was rested by not starting after having played for Jamaica in Jamaica last Friday and in El Salvador on Tuesday. He had the winning goal against El Salvador.
  • Folan looked better than I expected in the last two games. He keeps this up and he's going to give Smith a (good) headache when he's trying to decide which two strikers to start.
  • Smith and Wallace struggled on the left side until they combined for the winning goal. They didn't seem to be on the same page and their passing wasn't great.
  • That said Pablo and Larentowicz didn't give them much help in the middle. They did a great job stopping DC's attacks but they weren't showing for the ball and helping with possession as much as they have in the past.
  • Despite his off game, Jamie Smith is still having a great start to the season.
  • The defense had a mental lapse on the goal, but holding the opposition to only one shot on goal other than that is a pretty good showing.
  • Drew Moor, possibly the most underrated defender in the league. The trade to get him for Ihemelu gets more and more unbalanced every game.
  • Cummings looked like he didn't want to be denied a goal at the end. Its a good attitude to see in a striker.
  • Isn't their a passage in the Geneva Convention that outlaws using Cummings, Nyassi, and Amarikwa as your subs when you're playing at 5280 feet? You think Smith and Guppy were having a laugh on the bench at throwing Amarikwa on with a 3-1 lead?
  • Anyone who's watched cycling knows that Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin like to talk about the race not really starting until "the road turns up". well the MLS season is about "turn up" for the Rapids with trips to Dallas and FSL.
Player of the Game: Caleb Folan. 2 goals makes this an easy call.

1 comment:

Jester said...

I was quite impressed with Folan. The first thing that struck me was how fast he is! Then he showed some good foot work on the goal, which in itself, took no small amount of skill once he rounded the defender. A lot of strikers in this league would have been suprised their move on the defender worked, and would have sent the shot wide, or high, or straight at the keeper. And he looked so calm doing all of it.

Now lets see if he can keep it up. With Casey out the next few weeks, he'll have his chances. Of course, Amarikwa is also improving, and will want to have a say in Smith's headaches too.

Overall it wasn't our best game, regardless of the final score. But, a win is a win. If we get at least 3 points from the next 2 games we will be looking good. People might actually have to start showing us a little respect.
Who would have ever thought that day would come?