Thursday, July 7, 2011

Change Of Location, Same Result

Before I get to the game review I wanted to mention that the Rapids have announced some of their pre-season plans for next year. They've been invited to be the MLS representative in the new Hawai'ian Islands Invitational Tournament in February. The other teams invited are the J-League's (Japan) Yokohama FC, the K-League's (South Korea) Incheon United, and the A-League's (Australia) Melbourne Heart.

Now on to last night's game. Just over a month ago the Rapids hosted Sporting KC, Casey scored in the first half, Sporting equalized in the second, and the teams settled for a 1-1 draw. Last night in KC Casey scored in the first half, Sporting equalized in the second, and the teams settled for a 1-1 draw. Colorado looked strong in the first half, with the C+C Goal Factory settling back into their familiar partnership. The big hit for the Rapids came in the 12th minute as Pablo slid into a tackle and Roger Espinoza collapsed on his leg. Pablo, correctly, got a yellow for the bad tackle which will see him suspended for the next game, but he also got a hyper-extended right knee which will probably keep him out longer. Mastroeni tried to play through it but 18 minutes later he was subbed out for Nane. 2 minutes after the sub Casey chested down a long free kick out of the back, spun, and slammed a shot past the White Puma to put the Rapids up 1-0.

The second half was more physical and more controlled by Sporting. The big change was C.J. Sapong's entry into the game for Teal Bunbury. He immediately created a chance that Pickens had to parry, leading to KC missing the open net while Matty P was on the ground. A minute later he did it again, only this time Zusi was able to hit the open net to level the score. KC would hit the post on an attack after Pickens had to come out to make a save. The Rapids best chance came off a Nyassi free kick that everybody watching on TV was sure was in. The final attack came from KC where Jesus had to palm a deflection into the crossbar and out of play to preserve the draw.

My key to the game was could we score. Once again the Rapids could only find the back of the net once and not surprisingly, didn't win.

Stat Of The Game: Pablo's suspension for yellow card accumulation will make 14 games in a row that the Rapids have had a player suspended.

Other Observations:
  • Great to see the C+C Goal Factory starting again. We haven't seen it since the opener.
  • Nane is a No-no. Most of the passes he tried ended up with KC.
  • Another solid if quiet game from LaBauex. I don't expect him to be taking a starting role anytime soon, but he's showing himself to be a jack-of-all-trades in midfield.
  • I liked some of what I saw of Nyassi coming off the bench. I think that's a great role for him right now.
  • One thing I didn't like was Nyassi dribbling the ball in two circles, killing an offensive charge, before passing.
  • Folan still isn't working if he doesn't get the perfect ball.
  • In the first half you could see some of the play that got us to MLS Cup last year. We need to figure out how to do that for 90 minutes (staying healthy would help).
  • Its too soon to have a "must win" game, but the Vancouver game is looking pretty important.
Player of the Game: Matt Pickens. He had a couple of rebounds right in front of the net (one of which led to the goal) but he also came up big on more than one occasion to keep the Rapids in the game. And honestly, there was no defense to be seen on the goal so I can only blame him so much for that.

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