Monday, April 8, 2013

Rapids Get First Win, Rocky Mountain Cup Lead

Colorado got its first win on Saturday night, holding on to an early goal to win 1-0.  The game started almost as well as you could hope.  Hendry Thomas played a great ball to Labrocca on the left wing, and he sent it in to Buddle in the box.  Borchers did everything short of mugging Buddle to get to the ball but Edson held him off as long as he could and as he was being pushed to the ground he poked the ball across to Harris who was busy fixing a sandwich on the other side of the box.  Wide open as he was he had enough time to put the sandwich down and knock the ball in for the lead before anyone got near him.  He then went with the 'rock the baby' celebration to honor his new daughter.

3 minutes later it looked like the Rapids gave the advantage right back.  Off a corner kick Dillon Powers was called for hauling down Kyle 'Rapids Reject' Beckerman in the box.  Rapids killer Alvaro Saborio who had hit 12 of 12 PKs for FSL stepped up but Clint Irwin was able to push the shot into the post and Powers redeemed himself by booting the ball down to the other end of the field to remove the danger.

The rest of the game see-sawed back and forth between the teams.  For the most part the Rapids were absorbing pressure and counter-attacking (FSL had 60% of the possession in the match) but both teams had good chances they were unable to convert.  The teams each had 3 shots on goal and 6 off target.  The Rapids got closest off a nice little cross on the ground from Chris Klute that DeShorn Brown redirected just off the post and a Jamie Smith shot that Rimando had to push around the post.  Clint Irwin had to come up big on two saves himself and Saborio had a couple of chances he couldn't put on frame.

My key to the match was defensive discipline and while things broke down occasionally (plus the PK) the Rapids were stout enough to get their first shutout of the season.  Can't ask for much more than that.

Special Rant:
Excuse me while I divert from the analysis of the game for a moment.  It was an embarrassing joke that the Rapids came out wearing their blue alternate kits for this game.  The biggest complaint many fans (including myself) had about the kits when they were revealed is that they looked too much like FSL kits.  So when FSL is the road team you allow them to wear their home jerseys while we wear kits that make us look like them?  Why?  The fans bleed Rapids burgundy, no more so than when we play FSL.  Especially this year when the burgundy kits carry the support of the fans through their names on the jersey and there's no game that the fans give their support to more than the Rocky Mountain Cup matches.

I asked the Rapids for an explanation today and they said that the team decided they would wear the blue kits at home once this season, but they asked the players which game they wanted to wear them for and the players chose the FSL game.  I'm not sure if they're just passing the buck to the players or that was the decision of the locker room but somebody in the Front Office should have stepped in and said "No, for FSL we wear burgundy, period."  I know there's some logic in the Colorado State Flag kit representing all of Colorado against Utah but that doesn't hold up IMO.

Random Thoughts:
  • OK, back to discussion of the game now.  ;)  The win gives the Rapids a 4 point to 1 point lead in the Rocky Mountain Cup.  A win or draw in the final game at the Dick in August brings the Cup home (finally), a loss leaves it in Utah for another year.
  • The PK was a technically correct call, but its nothing that doesn't happen on every corner kick.  Powers mistake was that he did it out in the open instead of in the scrum in the middle.
  • Oh, and the fact it was Beckerman he was up against.  The instant Powers touched him Beckerman went rag doll to draw the call.  Diver.
  • Clint Irwin is the first GK in MLS history to face PK's in each of his first 3 starts.  He's guessed right every time and this time he got there.
  • Both teams can feel hard done by from the ref.  After he set the bar with that early PK call he let numerous obvious PKs go.  Both teams should have clearly had a PK call that he ignored.
  • Not to mention that by the end of the game I had no idea what a foul was.  Big collisions would get no call, but breathing the wrong way on a player would draw a whistle.  Bad day from the center referee.
  • Buddle absolutely made Nat 'Rapids Reject' Borchers look useless on the goal.
  • Harris may have gotten the goal, but I could have scored it from there given how open he was.  Otherwise he didn't do anything to make me think he should be starting.  Dribbling the ball backwards out of bounds in the first 3 minutes was a wonderful start.
  • There's no way DeShorn Brown has the energy to play the way he does for 34 games.  Eventually he's going to either learn to pace himself or have to sit down for a couple of games to recover.  He's fun to watch though.
  • I hate to say it, but I'm not sure there's a place for Pablo once he's healthy.  He should start certain games where a stiffer spine is needed (like the final RMC match) but right now I think Powers (eventually Rivero), LaBrocca, and Thomas have got the midfield.
  • Klute is raw but you can see what the various coaches have seen in him with their talk.  If we have an option to buy him from his loan we should really think about it.
  • O'Neill is getting great experience while Moor is out.  He'll be a go to sub off the bench now and spot starter when other starters aren't available.
  • I almost forgot we had Nathan Sturgis on the roster.
Player of the Match: Clint Irwin.  Saved a PK, made a couple of other big saves, and got his first shutout. Irwin's the man!


Jester said...

Altitude II is on Comcast 948 in HD.

Jason Maxwell said...

Jester you are the man!!!