Monday, June 13, 2011

Colorado Makes It 2 For 2 Against Portland

About 90 Rapids fans traveled to Portland to support the Rapids, and they were joined by yours truly and 7 of my family members. That's all of us up in the SW corner of Jeld-Wen Field on the left. The Rapids needed all the support they could get in front of about 20,000 Timbers fans who had only seen one loss this season, before the Rapids came to town. I haven't had time to re-watch anything but the goal yet, so all my observations are based on what I could see from our seat way up in the back of the stadium.

The game was an end to end affair with both teams having good chances, and both teams have better keepers. Pickens and Perkins came up huge multiple times to keep the game scoreless. When the goalkeepers weren't able to make the save, the strikers weren't able to take advantage, putting the shots high or wide and in the case of one Portland shot, putting it off the post.

After 90 minutes there was still no score. Amarikwa was fouled in the 91st minute on the left side of the field, right in front of the Timbers bench. While Jamie Smith was setting up his free kick, Rapids legend and Timbers head coach John Spencer went off on the officiating, and was ejected. Smith served the ball into the box where Amrikwa headed it on net, but Perkins was up tot he challenge and deflected it away. The ball fell to Folan who tried to put the ball into the far post, only to have Perkins dive to push it away. After a scramble the ball pinged off of Amarikwa and Folan and fell to the feet of Drew Moor. With Perkins still on the ground at the far post it was an easy put-away for the goal. The Timbers had one last chance that went high and Colorado got out with 3 points.

My key to the game was getting the lead and holding it for more than 5 minutes, since we had been unable to do that the last 3 times we had gotten the lead. Well we've still failed to do that since we go the lead with only about 3 minutes left! :D

Stats Of The Game: 1. The Rapids are now on 9 game undefeated and 5 game road undefeated streaks, both team records.
2. This is the first time in team history the Rapids completed a season sweep of an expansion team (Not counting Columbus in 1996 when all the teams were expansion teams).

Other Observations:
  • Smith's free kick was from the same spot as his crazy goal in Houston. That's 3-4 goals we've scored already from Smith free kicks in that area.
  • That said, Amarikwa was offside on Folan's follow-up shot. In the scramble that followed that he absolutely had an effect on the play, even though he never touched the ball until offside was "reset". I believe he should have been flagged but I'm not 100% clear on the rule at this point. Call it a make-up from the FSL game (though I would have preferred to tie both games, even if that's one less point overall).
  • There were at least two incidents of handballs in the box. I couldn't tell from my seat if they were incidental or not, but no sense in giving the refs an excuse.
  • Casey couldn't buy a call if the defender walked up and leveled him with an right uppercut. Apparently its open season in MLS on Conor.
  • Thompson picked up a yellow on a foul that had a lot of similarities to the Mullan tackle. Thompson got fouled with no call and turned around and ran at a player in the same area as Zakuani was in. The difference was Mullan slid through Zakuani to get the ball and broke a leg, Thompson just bowled his man out of bounds.
  • And that was really the "highlight" of Thompson's night. Nyassi is back next week and Mullan in two weeks, so hopefully Wells can take his spot back as a late game defensive sub.
  • Marshall has been quite a pickup this year. He's played much more, and much better, than I ever expected.
  • Pablo and Conor were just asking fora card for dissent. Somehow Ginger got it instead.
  • Larentowicz also reportedly spent a couple of minutes taunting the Timbers Army post-game. Love the attitude, but probably not a good idea.
  • We really appreciated the team coming over and saluting the fans after the game, especially since we were on the opposite end from the locker rooms.
  • One other streak continued this week. I've never seen the team lose when I've traveled to an away game.
Player of the Game: Matt Pickens. He came up huge to keep the Rapids in the game early. An honorable mention to the Class VI, Pid Army, and Bulldog Supporters Group members that made the trip to Portland.

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