Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'll Take My Crow Now Please

So, yeah, about that whole post where I said the Rapids will be beat by Metapan and the roster selection was not great. Well Colorado proved me an idiot with a 3-1 win last night. The reserve squad, lead by Steve Guppy and augmented by Wells Thompson and Tyrone Marshall, pulled together in a tough environment and dominated the scoreboard.

There was a pretty big mistake to start the night. The Rapids stayed in San Salvador, about a 2 hour drive from Metapan. It wasn't until the team got to the stadium for pre-game that the equipment manager realized he forgot a bag at the hotel, the bag with the team's cleats! Immediately they called their contact back and the hotel, he found the bag, and a police escort started towards Metapan. The problem was that kickoff was in 90 minutes and starters Wells Thompson and Andre Akpan didn't have boots! A number of players had kept their cleats with them, and they were able to borrow some from Metapan and run to a sporting goods store to buy others, but Thompson and Akpan were stuck wearing cleats that were too big. Just as the teams were taking the field for kickoff the bag arrived and the referees were forced to handle a delay as Ian Joyce and Omar Cummings helped Wells and Andre get the right shoes on. The rest of the starters without their normal shoes changed at half.

In the 31st minute Ross LaBauex played a ball in front of Eddie Ababio. Ababio chipped it over the keeper for the first goal. This was Ababio's first professional appearance (later int he game he would be replaced by Davy Armstrong who was also getting his first professional playing time as the Rapids first homegrown player). The lead only lasted 5 minutes as Stweard Ceus was called for a 6-second violation. I have literally never seen that called in a professional game. The ensuing indirect kick inside the box was finished off to level the score. Metapan was very unlucky not to score right before half as they had a wide-open volley go off the crossbar.

Right after half Amarikwa put the Rapids back into the lead with a volley off a header form the top of the box that the Metapan keeper fumbled and let get behind him. Cummings finished off the scoring with a classic Omar goal, running onto a long ball ahead of the defense and beating the keeper. At that point Metapan knew it was over and folded up shop.

As you can see, the Rapids proved me wrong. Colorado was really outplayed for a good part of the game, especially in the first half, but they manged to do two things that have been lacking recently. The first was finishing their opportunities. The 3 goals were really their only 3 good chances in the game (and Amarikwa's was only half a chance at best) and they finished all of them. The second was that they didn't make any defensive blunders. The couple of good chances Metapan got came from them outplaying us (or int he case of the goal, a horrible call), not from the keeper playing a bad ball or a defender not seeing an attacker on a pass. Combined they were worse on the field but better on the scoreboard.

My humble pie now eaten, I still stand by my belief that Smith skipping this game was an insult and a poor decision, regardless of the result. Just because the Rapids won doesn't change the questionable decision-making process.

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