Monday, March 18, 2013

Bad Break In Utah

From Saturday:
Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Brown.  This is nothing but hopeful optimism as Salt Lake should win this game.  But I can't bring myself to credit those punks with a win:.
Looking pretty good huh?  The Rapids got a 1-1 draw with DeShorn Brown getting the goal.  Normally that would leave everyone pretty happy but the way it happened left it a bit of a consolation prize.  Inside the first 5 minutes Pickens came out to punch a ball, cleared it, but in a collision with a FSL player he broke his forearm.  It was a clean play, no blame to be placed on the attacker, but after surgery in Utah Saturday night Pickens will miss the next 3-4 months.  New signing Clint Irwin was quickly called off the bench to take his place, the second game in a row where the Rapids have made an injury substitution inside the first 10 minutes.

In the 37th minute DeShorn Brown took the ball of the FSL left back, drove directly into the box, and beat the keeper on the far post for the Rapids first lead of the season.  This was after both he and Harris had just missed wide right and left.  Along with those the Rapids had two other shots on target in the first half.

In the second half the team became more conservative, to its detriment.  At the 60th minute I said "If we bunker for the next 30 minutes we will lose".  It wasn't quite that bad but we did let FSL have far too much of the play and it eventually burned us.  In the 80th minute the Rapdis tried to push the ball out of their box but didn't get it very far.  For the second week in a row Thomas challenged for the ball, missed, and went tot he round.  The flick back in was headed out as best as possible by Moor, but Mullan's attempt to clear Moor's header failed and the ball bounced into the path of Plata in the box.  He put Saborio through on the far side of goal and he beat Irwin far post.  Tie game.  Both teams had a couple of chances to win it late but couldn't convert.

Random Thoughts:
  • Despite having a lead until the 80th minute, if you had told me before the game we'd lose Pickens inside of 5 minutes and still get a draw I would have taken it every time.  A good result.
  • Now we have 2 home games left in the Rocky Mountain Cup.  To reclaim the Cup we need two wins, a win and a draw, or a win and a loss as long as we win by more goals than we lose by.
  • Great to see Brown get a deserved goal for all his work in the first 3 weeks.  As long as he doesn't hit a rookie wall he's earned a starting spot somewhere, even after Buddle is healthy.
  • It was interesting to see Harbottle slide into midfield for the injured Pablo.  I'm not sure it worked, I don't think Kevin has figured out how to play with his teammates yet.
  • LaBrocca was somewhat ineffective in his 25 minutes replacing Harbottle though, so maybe its not just Kevin.
  • Harris created a couple of good chances late, but I'm still not impressed overall.
  • Wynne - Moor - Calderon are working across the back, but Mullan is still struggling a bit.
  • Thomas' biggest problem is that the only time he's been noticeable in the last two weeks is when he's been on the ground as a goal is scored.  You expected an experienced player like him to know better than to get caught in situations like that, especially repeatedly.
  • The Rapids have now used 3 different keepers in 3 games, and probably started 3 different ones in 4 games after next week in LA.  That's gotta be some sort of team single-season record.
  • Ceus had another massive blunder in the Reserves game.  I really have no faith in him right now so Irwin is the guy to go with, unless the team signs a keeper this week.
Player of the Match: Clint Irwin.  Nothing he could do on the goal, and he came up with two big saves.  Pretty good for a guy who was a backup keeper in the USL at this time last year (and yes, that is a picture of him at the top).

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