Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day Late and A Dollar Short

The title refers to the Rapids performance in SLC, but it could just as easily refer to me as a heavy work schedule this week has me getting this post up a day later than normal.  The Rocky Mountain Cup game was a disaster for the Rapids and the 2-0 was generous towards them.  I'm going to dispense with the normal review and just hit the "highlights" of the two goals.

The first goal was off a great pass by Beltran that found Saborio free behind the defense to volley the ball home.  Its hard to blame anyone on this goal, the pass was that good.  It would have taken Wynne or Marshall being in the perfect position or Pickens pulling off a miracle save to stop.  That said the defense made it easier by Marshall dragging behind on the offside trap.  Saborio would have been onside anyway, but it wasn't a positive sign.

The second goal was a world class f-up from the defense, Pickens, and the referee.  Espindola brought the ball down at the top of the box sandwiched by Kimura and Wynne with Pickens rushing out to block it.  Pickens decided to start complaining to the ref while making only a one handed swipe at the ball and Kimura and Wynne didn't clear it, allowing Espindola to poke it by them all for the goal.  Now it turns out Pickens had every reason to complain as Espindola clearly used his arm to bring the ball down, it should have been a foul not a goal, but Pickens needs to do his complaining after the whistle.,  Had he dove on the ball it wouldn't have been a goal anyway.  I'm not sure what Koz and Wynne were doing but the ball just needs to be played out.

My key to this game was keeping our cool.  We kept ourselves too cool for most of the game, barely even bothering to play.  Then once we went down 2-0 we lost our cool and trying to take it out on FSL.  Mullan and Moor in particular are lucky not to be suspended for next week's game (and may still be).  Mullan kicked out at a player (disguised as a tumble) and Moor smacked Gil in the face and should have been red carded on the spot.

Other Observations:
  • Pareja out thought himself in this game.  For whatever reason he thought Cascio wasn't able to start so instead of just plugging in Hill, Akpan, or Amarikwa he moved Castrillon up to the left, disrupting the midfield.  Then instead of putting Thompson in his place he moved Moor up to midfield, disrupting the defense.  One change in the starting XI disrupted every unit on the field and it showed.
  • That said, the players didn't show up to play either.  Nobody had a good game, at best Rivero was average and everyone else sucked.
  • Despite the idiot FSL announcing teams disbelief Kimura wasn't only acting when he went down int he 16th minute.  The replay clearly showed he got smacked in the face as well as the throat (unintentionally) and it apparently knocked him off his game as he was pretty bad for the rest of the night.
  • Cummings looks like he just didn't care by the end of the game, which was very disappointing.   He and Kimura have the most experience in this rivalry with Pablo injured and should want it more than anyone.
  • Marshall is just too slow to be starting in this formation.  He was constantly trailing behind the rest of the defense keeping players onside.
  • Moor in the midfield is a decent late game adjustment to defend a lead.  It was a lousy starting XI move.
Player Of The Game: The travelling fans, seen above.  They spent a lot of time and money to see an awful game against our biggest rival and put up with crap from the FSL fans.  I hope somebody from the Rapids organization apologized to them for that performance.

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