Sunday, August 21, 2011

Colorado Heads For A Draw

Last night the Rapids tried out a new lineup but got similar results to what they've been seeing. Giving Cummings some continued rest Folan was put up front with Nyassi as a withdrawn striker underneath him. Early on it paid off, as Kimura launched Mastroeni(?!?!) down the right sideline and Pablo whipped in a perfect cross that Folan headed into the upper corner for the lead.

The scoreline would only stand for a little over 20 minutes though. Former Rapid Nick LaBrocca played a amazing through ball that new Chivas player Juan Pablo Angel ran onto. Pickens got stuck in no-man's land and Angel made him pay by leveling the score. Colorado had a couple of good chances to end the half but couldn't turn them into goals.

The second half went much like the first. Mid-way through Colorado finally got its corner kicks working. Sanna Nyassi found the Ginger Ninja in the middle of the box from the corner and Larentowicz headed it home to reclaim the lead. The Rapids continued to control the play, but 3 games in a week was starting to drag on them. Unfortunately the team came up about 5 minutes short. In the 86th minute Chivas beat the offside trip on the left side, and Lahoud got in 1 on 1 with Pickens. Matt made himself bigger, but the ball went between his legs for Chivas' 2nd of the night. Right at the end of stoppage time Kandji connected with a rebound from a corner kick, but Chivas saved it off the line to preserve their point.

My key to the game was Juan Pablo Angel. Well, he got a goal which is what Chivas brought him in for.

Stat of the Game: Mastroeni became the 4th player in league history to start 300 MLS games, joining Steve Ralston, Kevin Hartman, and Rapids Gallery of Honor member Chris Henderson .

Other Observations:
  • Congrats to Drew Moor for setting a new MLS ironman record for field players!
  • Matt Pickens did not look good. Chivas only had 2 shots on goal, their 2 goals, and Pickens did almost nothing to prevent either of them. His indecision on the first one got him stuck in no-man's land and he got nutmegged on the second, something that a keeper just can't allow to happen. Neither goal was his fault, but they were both goals that you hope your keeper can come up with at least one save in a game on.
  • Rumor at the game is that Gary Smith is babying Cummings' ankle, which is why he hasn't started the last 3 games. But he's been good enough to play in 2 of them after playing 90 minutes for Jamaica last week. Either don't suit him up at all (like Wednesday) or start him. There's little to be gained by giving him 20 minutes or so.
  • The team was really dragging in the last 20 minutes or so. 3 games in a week really caught up to them at the end. Moor and Marshall were beat on the second goal, and I think fatigue played a part in that.
  • The first Chivas goal was just an amazing pass from LaBrocca and a great finish from Angel. You hate to give up a goal, but if you do, that's the type of goal to give up.
  • Wells Thompson, sigh. A step back for his play.
  • Folan's goal was great, but that's about all he did last night. With equally rested, Kandji should clearly be playing in front of him.
  • Nyassi as a withdrawn striker behind Folan disappeared. Playing that role behind Omar he's a star. That should tell the coach something.
  • Now a quick turnaround and trip to Honduras for the game on Tuesday night.
Player of the Game: Marvell Wynne. His recovery late in the 2nd half prevented another good scoring chance from Chivas. Generally he was on all night and was one of the few Rapids not to look spent at the end of the game.

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