Sunday, September 11, 2011

Galaxy Stars Boil Rapids

Colorado played poorly, the coaching staff made poor decisions, and the team got a poor result. The 1-0 score hides the fact that this loss should have been by 3 or 4 based on what we saw on the field. For most of the first half LA was just attacking in wave after wave, forcing Pickens into 8 saves total, two of which were back to back and as good as the MLS Cup saving tackle at the end of the championship game.

There's really only two incidents to discuss in this game. On the LA goal the defense got worked. Marshall pushes up leaving a hole in the back and with 4 perfect passes LA puts it int he back of the net. Once Marshall got beat Wynne moved in to cover for him, Kimura moved in to cover for Wynne, and nobody (Mullan?) moved to cover for Kimura, which left PrimaDonnavan unmarked in the box and he doesn't miss in that situation.

The Rapids only real threat was in the second half when a loose pass from Folan was deflected to Nyassi's feet in the box, and Sanna was able to spin and put it on net. Ricketts made the save but the rebound fell in front of Thompson. Wells finished it, but was correctly ruled offside. It was a quick play but Thompson should have done better getting onside. The only other shot on target Colorado had was a long shot along the ground in the first half from Larentowicz that Ricketts easily saved.

My key to the game was how our makeshift backline held up to the powerful Galaxy offense. Not well, as it was a shooting gallery in the first half, but that was as much about the midfield and forwards not being able to keep possession than the issues with the defense.

Stat of the Game: Kimura played in his 100th MLS game.

Other Observations:
  • Really poor choice by Gary Smith to leave Cummings and Nyassi on the bench but start all the other first-teamers. Scoring has been hard enough when Cummings and Nyassi have been in, its been almost non-existent since the Casey injury without them. So the starting XI had no real ability to score, but now you've tired them out for the important CCL match Tuesday. Why?
  • Then to compound the error Smith realized his lineup wasn't working after we were down 1-0, and took off Kandji for Nyassi. So Nyassi didn't get much rest anyway.
  • Caleb Folan played all 90 minutes, had one shot, two forward passes in the attacking half, and spent more time in the center circle than anywhere else. Yeah, that was a waste.
  • Colorado had no ability to hold possession in the Galaxy half in the first half. The defense was kicking out to the attacking players, resting for 15 seconds while the offense turned the ball over, and then were under pressure again.
  • MLS has figured out the Rapids are week on the left side and are driving their attacks that way. Hopefully Comminges will help with that problem.
  • Pablo was solid int eh first half and checked out of the second half. Not a good sign.
  • The Rapids did start taking the game to the Galaxy late, especially once Cummings subbed in. I don't know if LA was just taking their foot off the pedal or if we were actually turning things around.
  • This is the first game of 7 in 23 days. If you're Gary Smith why wouldn't you use all 3 subs to try to get some players rest? You're going to need every minute off you can get a player. At the very least Folan could have been pulled for just about anyone on the bench and not hurt our offensive chances of getting another goal.
  • Kandji actually looked decent in his short time, Smith seems wedded to the target forward + speed forward combo that works so well for the C+C Goal Factory that its blinding him to who the better player is.
Player of the Game: Matt Pickens. Without his play in the first half the Galaxy score at least 4 goals.

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