Monday, May 20, 2013

Colorado Makes It Four Undefeated

The Rapids put together another solid outing on the road Saturday night, getting a 1-1 draw in San Jose.  They were a bit unlucky not to get the win however, being the better team for most of the match.  After a couple of early chances by San Jose, Colorado took control for most of the half.  Midway through it Rivero whipped in a corner to the near post and Nathan Sturgis redirected it inside the near post for a 1-0 lead.  If you had Sturgis as the goal-scorer int his one, well, you're lying. ;)  The Rapids ended the half Harris bringing down a long ball into the box, turning, and taking a quick shot that he slammed off the upper corner of the frame.

In the second half the Rapids continued their control of the game, but both sides were creating chances, and getting chippy.  After one card in the first half, five were given out in the second, most to the Rapids.  Finally the calls caught up to them as O'Neil had his hand in the wrong place "causing" Chavez to fall down and giving up a dangerous free kick.  On the kick Chavez hit a knuckleball around the wall that completely crossed-up Irwin to level the score.  Colorado wasn't done though, as off another corner Sturgis almost got his second, pinging one off the crossbar before a through ball beat the Rapids defense and Shane O'Neill had to haul down the attacker and earn a red card.  The Rapids saw out the game to get the point.

My key to the match was controlling the flanks.  Resting Mullan and starting Wynne helped, and Klute had a pretty good game on the other side to reduce the danger.

Random Thoughts:
  • With the draw the Rapids have gone 4 straight without a loss, 3 of which were on the road.  This is the first time Oscar Pareja has gone this long without a loss.
  • DeShorn Brown knocked the rust off from last game.  He had 3 great breakaways in this one, with one poor shot, one bad angle shot, and one great save stopping him from scoring.
  • Harris continued his streak of doing one good thing at a time, but not two.
  • Despite picking up two cards O'Neill had a pretty good game.  His yellow was very weak and his red probably saved the winning goal.
  • He was rewarded with a call-up to the U-20s for the Toulon tournament, along with Dillon Serna.  Serna will join the team right away but the Rapids have worked with Tab Ramos to keep O'Neill through the Dallas match on June 1st before releasing him.
  • The San Jose goal was the first time I really thought Irwin got beat on a shot he should have done better on.  The ball took a wicked swerve but that's where you need your goalkeeper to come up big.
  • Anthony Wallace in midfield was better than I would have first expected.
  • While Danny Mwanga...wasn't.  At this point that's looking like a poor trade.
  • Hey, we did sign Brenton Griffiths for a reason!
  • Powers was injured in training late on Friday, which is why he was a late scratch for the game.  On the bright side it allowed him to get back to SOuth Bend for his graduation ceremony Sunday morning.
  • I think we win the game had Buddle not been suspended.
Player of the Match: Martin Rivero.  This was a good example of what a full strength Rivero brings us.  His free and corner kicks were on target, his passing was strong, and generally the offense was running through him.  Hat tip to Sturgis for a solid game as well.

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