Monday, April 1, 2013

Rapids Don't Have Enough Power To Fell Timbers

A banged up Rapids lineup looked good for 50 minutes and bad for 40, but that's all that was needed to drop 2 points.  As I predicted Portland didn't really start playing and Colorado got an early goal.  An absolute rocket from rookie Dillon Powers that goes right to the top of the early list for team Goal of the Year, put the Rapids up in the 18th minute.  That was after Colorado was unlucky on an early shot from Brown that hit the post and the follow up rebound shot hit the other post.  Colorado controlled most of the 1st half, though Portland did have a good chance right after the Rapids goal.

The second half started very well as Tony Cascio had a nice fake to beat two defenders into the box and as he took the shot he was clipped from behind.  The shot was saved but the PK was called.  Hendry Thomas(?!) stepped up and converted the spot kick for to give the Rapids a 2 goal lead 3 minutes into the half.  That's when, as predicted, Portland decided to start playing.  8 minutes later Ryan Johnson crossed the ball into the box and found Will Johnson unmarked to half Colorado's lead.  Johnson was one of 3 players unmarked on the play.  The Rapids kept the pressure up but couldn't find the 3rd goal, O'Neill in particular being denied by a Save of the Year candidate from Donovan Ricketts.  In the 77th minute Portland got the makeup PK you kind of felt was coming.  Atiba Harris stuck his boot into the midsection of a Portland attacker and the referee didn't hesitate.  The Timbers converted and defended the 2-2 draw to get out of town with a point.

My key to the game was scoring, and we did manage it and probably should have had more.  It just happened to be at the same time we chose to give up 2 goals to Portland for the first time.

Random Thoughts:
  • We didn't even make it to game time without another injury, with Kevin Harbottle hurting his knee in Friday's training.  Rumors are he'll be out a month.
  • That left the Rapids with only 18 players not injured, suspended, or ineligible.  Luckily despite being Questionable Buddle was able to start, giving Pareja 19 players to choose from.  That left Dillon Serna as the odd available player out who didn't dress for the game.  It may also have been injury related as he only made the subs list for the reserve game on Sunday.
  • Buddle admitted after the game he wasn't ready to start, and it showed.  He was clearly overweight and not at the level of fitness he should have been at.  He also appeared disengaged from the rest of the team to the point that I'm wondering if he wants to be here.  I'm trying not to make a judgement on such a small sample size though.
  • Both PK calls were somewhat minor infractions, but good calls.  Other refs might have let both of them go but the right move is to call neither of them or both of them.  Neither team should feel hard done by.
  • Atiba Harris is a waste of a roster space.  The only memorable thing he did was give up the PK.
  • DeShorn Brown really looks like he'll be good after some more seasoning.  Right now he's just pushing too much I think.
  • On the first Timbers goal the reason 3 players were unmarked is that the backline was playing a pretty good offside trap.  Unfortunately Ryan Johnson spun Mullan around so much to get clear to make the cross that Mullan allowed his momentum to take him behind the line the defense set, putting at least 2 of the Timbers players back onside, including the goal scorer.
  • O'Neill and Klute did fairly well for being thrown into the fire like they were.  Its hard to blame them on either goal.
  • Clint Irwin looked good again, harsh to have to face PK shots in your first two starts.  He's given up 4 goals total and its hard to say he had any blame in any of them.
Player of the Match: Dillon Powers.  Even without the goal he would have been the choice.  He had a solid game distributing the ball and pressing the attack and the gaol was good enough to make Sportscenter's top plays.

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