Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rapids Sink Timbers

Sorry for the delay, a 14+ hour work day will do that.  On Saturday an almost healthy Rapids team took the field for the first time this season and took the Timbers to the woodshed.  The game was well in hand after 22 minutes and really over as soon as the teams came out of the halftime locker room and the Rapids stayed in control.

Twice in 4 minutes (the 18th and 22nd) Colorado burned the left side of Portland's defense for a goal.  On the first Freeman found space on the wing and brought it inside before crossing to a wide open Castrillon for the first goal.  Honestly the ball was good enough and Castrillon was open enough that a traffic cone would have been sufficient for Freeman to ricochet the ball off of for the goal.  Then Mullan found similar space but stayed out wide before crossing in for Casey to head home his first goal of the year.  Any resistance the Timbers had left was removed at that point.

Portland got its closest chance in the 36th minute off a Kris Boyd free kick that Pickens had to dive to save. The stats show another shot on target in first half stoppage time but it couldn't have been very dangerous as I don't remember it.  Those were the only two shots on target all night for the Timbers.  The Rapids controlled the second half and finished off Spencer's boys with a great team goal in the 89th minute.  Rivero slid a perfect through ball to Cascio who found himself 1v1 on the edge of the box.  He brought the ball deep, made Perkins commit, then crossed it to the onrushing Jamie Smith, seeing his first action of the year, for the 3rd goal.

My key was the defense and on Saturday they figured out how to work as a team.  Portland's impotent attack helped though.

Other Observations:
  • A great combination of old and new players working together in this one.  There were 2 goals and 1 primary assist from players on the roster last year and 2 primary assists and 1 goal from players new to the roster this year.
  • Great to see Casey and Smith get on the scoreboard for the season, and Smith in his first game, as a sub!
  • Cummings was still held back by his ankle and was obviously hobbling a bit by the time he was subbed off.
  • Castrillon got the goal and did a good job creating space for the other forwards.  His work in the midfield was quiet again though.  Maybe that's what Papi wants him to do but to me its not enough.,  If he wants to be a goal-poaching forward he can be Casey's backup and let Smith work in the midfield.
  • Rivero didn't have a great game,, but he had a pretty good one.  He's clearly the newcomer of the year on the team.
  • Wells Thompson came in as a defensive sub for the last 15 or so minutes.  Exactly the one role he's good at.
  • Freeman had a great game.  He's certainly earned his starting spot.  If Koz wants to get back into the lineup he'll have to force Zapata to the bench.
  • Zapata was playing a higher line than the rest of the defense for the first 30 minutes or so.  After Cabrera got off the bench to tell him to move back and a halftime adjustment he seemed to be back on the same page as the rest of the team.
  • A quiet game for Pickens, he's earned it.
  • Overall jsut a great team effort when the team desperately needed it.
Player Of The Game: Brian Mullan.  I had a hard time picking a player because everyone was playing at a high level so nobody really stood out.  Jake convinced me that Brian was playing a bit better than everyone else though.

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