Monday, July 18, 2011

Rapids Defense Slashed Apart By Sounders

As I predicted, the Rapids lost in Seattle by a goal. As I didn't predict it was a 4-3 goal-fest instead of the expected defensive battle. The Rapids got off to a good start, with a Wells Thompson goal off a lazy Seattle clearance in the first 5 minutes. Not surprisingly Colorado gave the lead right back within 5 minutes as the back line was beaten again, for at least the 3rd time in the first 10 minutes. This pattern would continue.

In the 38th minute Casey went down due to a non-contact injury to his Achilles. I'm not sure you can blame the turf laid over the field for the ManU friendly this week for the injury, but it didn't help matters. He was immediately subbed out for Folan, and a MRI was taken today. 5 minutes later Wells Thompson laid a ball back to Ginger Ninja and he pinged it off the post and into the goal to put the Rapids up at half.

Again though, the lead would only last about 5 minutes, as in the first 3 minutes after the break the high defensive line would be beat again for Seattle to get it second. The teams would settle down for most of the second half with Seattle continuing to slip behind the Rapids defense, but the defense recovering to prevent any goals. Unfortunately there were only so many times the back line could recover, and twice between the 82nd and 84th minute they would get burned. Suddenly a 2-2 draw turned into a 4-2 Sounders lead. Colorado would steal one back int he 90th minute after a loose ball found its way to Folan on the back post, but it was too little too late.

My key to the game was the midfield. As expected Pablo and Ginger controlled the center of the midfield, but the loss of Smith before the game and Mullan not travelling left the wings to be exploited, and Seattle took full advantage.

Other Observations:
  • I place a lot of this loss on Gary Smith. The Rapids high defensive line was getting slashed apart in the first minutes of the game, and Smith never changed strategies.
  • Not only that, but when Jaime Smith pulled up with a tight hamstring in pre-game warm-ups, Gary Smith's decision to leave Mullan at home backfired. Its bad enough to play without one of our two starting wingers, but to play with both killed us.
  • If Casey's injury keeps him out for more than a couple of games we're probably going to kiss any hope of a high finish goodbye. We can expect to be playing in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
  • Kimura is being scouted this month by the Japanese National team. Lets hope they didn't see the first Seattle goal where Koz got turned inside out.
  • Moor did not have a great game at left back, Seattle was attacking him all game. I expect that's a one time thing though.
  • Nyassi, pass the #$##$! ball. He seems to want to try to beat 2 players instead of finding the open man.
  • Cummings was named an All-Star today. I'm assuming that's a makeup for leaving him out of the roster the last two years because he hasn't played well enough to deserve it, and that continued this game. He was pretty much invisible.
  • Great goal by Larentowicz, and generally a good game from him. Taunting the fans after the goal may not have been the smartest move, but I got a laugh out of it.
  • Pickens is coming up with some great saves, but he's leaving rebounds right in front of net. We've gotten burned on them and we'll continue to get burned if he can't punch them out further or hold onto them.
Player of the Game: Wells Thompson. A goal and an assist makes it his best game this year, possibly his best game as a Rapid.

1 comment:

Schmicker said...

no trash coming from this guy - just someone to commiserate with over the maddening play of nyassi