Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Swans And Keepers

No full review of last night's friendly, but some odds and ends that I observed. First though, the news of the day. Colorado signed goalkeeper Matt Pickens to a multi-year contract extension today. As always terms were not released but we'll see the new salary when the Players Union updates its salary list. Pickens joins Mullan, Moor, Larentowicz, and Cummings with new multi-year deals since the end of last season.

Now, onto last night's game. The Rapids won 2-1 with two great goals from Andre Akpan and Kamani Hill in the first 15 minutes before Jonathan De Guzman scored directly from a free kick with 12 minutes to play. With the exception of the last 15 minutes or so Swansea wasn't really trying hard, and after 30 minutes their players were obviously struggling after their long flight from London on Monday and playing at altitude. Despite that there were some interesting notes:

  • Swansea players laid a wreath at midfield before the game and both teams held a moment of silence in memory of the Aurora victims which was very much appreciated.
  • Oddly there was no British/Welsh flag flying and neither God Save The Queen or Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (the Welsh anthem) were played, though the Star-Spangled Banner was sung like any other game.
  • Hill looked good last night.  Pareja's post-game comments seemed to insinuate he may have read Hill's place wrong and he's reassessing.  Its will be interesting to see if we see more of Hill now.
  • On top of that his goal was an absolute bomb off the post from outside the area.
  • Thompson had a harsh tackle that would have been questionable for a league game, much less a friendly.
  • Great combination work between Smith, Zapata, and Akpan for the first goal within 5 minutes.
  • De Guzman's goal was good, but Joyce completely misread it.  Most keepers probably could have stopped it.
  • Great to see homegrown players Davy Armstrong and Shane O'Neil get their first home playing time (for Armstrong) and first playing time of any kind (O'Neil).  Armstrong played RB while O'Neil took Larentowicz's spot in midfield.
  • Unfortunately the attendance was only about 6500.  I have a feeling that's going to lead to the Rapids not bringing in a big European team again for a while.  They'll probably revert to Mexican teams where they know they'll get good attendance.


Bonji said...

I don't think the Rapids brought in a "big" European team this time. Had they shelled out to get Chelsea, Bacra, ManUre or an actual big club, they would have sold it out and had fans traveling to see them. As usual, the Rapids don't get it when they book these friendlies. It isn't any old team that packs the house. Just because the Swans are in the Prem, doesn't mean they'll draw fans.

Bonji said...

Just because the team is in the Prem, doesn't make them big or a draw. The Rapids still don't understand that. Had they shelled out to get Chelsea, ManUre, Barca, or another major club, they'd attract traveling fans and have a sellout. The Swans don't have that kind of following. As usual the Rapids went cheap and it showed.