Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rapids Continue Stumbling through CCL

Colorado sent a young team down to Honduras, and you could tell from the play. The Rapids had few chances last night and were under siege most of the game. They managed a 1-1 draw and the one point is a good result given their youth, but 3 points was there for the taking had the coaching staff done a better job managing the squad over the last couple of weeks.

The first 20-30 minutes was fairly even, with neither team having any good chances. The last 20 minutes or so of the half though the field was tilting against Colorado. Ceus had to make a couple of saves including one point blank one, and he came flying out of his box and almost got a red card. Replays showed he didn't get the ball, but he didn't get the man either so it was the right call. Right before half the Rapids were finally able to get the ball tot he other end of the field, where LaBauex beat his man and crossed the ball tot he top of the box. Ginger Ninja ran onto it and just beat the keeper with a shot to the far post for the unlikely halftime lead.

Colorado spent he whole second half under siege. Real hit the crossbar on an open net header. They beat Ceus again only for Earls to save it off the line. Colorado didn't get a shot on goal the entire half (in fact, their only shot on goal the whole game was Larentowicz' goal). Finally the wall broke down. On a swerving cross into the box Koz could only head it away from his mark, but right back into the center where both Holody and Moor had lost their men. Rodriguez, Espana's most dangerous player all night, finished the ball to draw things level. Real still wouldn't go away and created another couple of good chances but Colorado hung on for the draw.
  • After the Real Espana goal Nyassi almost gave the game away. A ball was cleared to the side of the box and Nyassi ran through the back of the player to try to get it. Probably a foul, hard to tell if it was just inside or just outside the box though. The ref waved play on.
  • That was really the only miss by the ref all night. He wasn't falling for any dives or weak fouls.
  • The back line was a dangerous mess all night. Holody, Earls, and Palguta were not in sync and its obvious why they haven't been playing much.
  • I saw Akpan's name in the starting lineup, but I'm not sure I saw him on the field.
  • No idea why Amarikwa came in instead of Kandji. Comparing the two CCL games its obvious which one of them should be getting more time.
  • Cummings is not the Cummings of old. He's apparently nursing a sore ankle, but he doesn't seem to have the drive either.
  • LaBauex gets full credit for the assist. Unfortunately that's about all he did.
  • Moor lost his man on the goal, but he stabilized a back line that was in complete disarray.
  • I really think the Rapids lost 2 points not on their play int he game, but on the choices made by Gary Smith in setting the lineups and subs over the last 4 games. Anything short of a win in Chicago would be a failure of Smith's strategy.
  • Santos Laguna went to Metapan and lost 2-0, which means after 2 rounds the Rapids lead the group as the only team to get points on the road. Santos and Metapan each have 3 points and Real Espana has 1.
Player of the Game: Jeff Larentowicz. not only did he have the goal against the run of play, but he was a stabilizing influence for a scattered Rapids team.

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