Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chaos In LA

Sorry for the delay, long work day yesterday prevented me from doing my write-up.  Needless to say there's a lot to talk about with this one.  I'm going to dispense with my normal write-up and hit the important points (and there are a number of them.

  • In the 3rd minute Brown was 1v1 with Kennedy and badly shanked the shot.  This turned out to be an omen for the evening.
  • 5 minutes in German Mera failed to clear a ball, kicking right into another Chivas player, Drew Moor didn't step up, and Chivas scored off a bit of a blast to go up 1-0.
  • Off a corner in the 27th minute Chivas defender Purdy committed one of the most obvious handball's you'll see for a PK.  Brown stepped up to face Kennedy like he had in the earlier match, but this time Kennedy was up to the challenge and saved the shot.
  • 33 minutes in Gabriel Farfan committed one of the dirtier fouls we've seen this year.  Instead of playing the ball he tried to take out O'Neill, stomping down on his planted shin.  Luckily O'Neill's cleats gave way and he was able to stay in the game.  Farfan was rightfully red carded.
  • Late in the half Cascio was given a yellow for a tackle that wasn't particularly bad, but Chivas sold by adding a couple of extra rolls.
  • Early in the second half Cascio went in with a high boot to play the ball and received a second yellow.  Replay shows no contact was made.
  • In the 63rd minute Tristan Bowen spit at Chris Klute shortly after they had gotten tangled up in a tackle.  He rightfully saw red.
  • The Rapids finally broke through in the 80th minute, with another great cross from Klute finding Rivero in the middle of the box.  Martin snapped it into the upper corner to level the score.
  • Rivero's corner in the 87th minute was headed into the crossbar by Sanchez only to bounce on the line and deflect off a Chivas player into Kennedy's hands..
End result, a very disappointing 1-1 draw where the Rapids had all the chances but couldn't convert.

My key to the match was staying focused and not overlooking Chivas.  Based on the first half that's exactly what we were doing, unfortunately.

Random Thoughts:
  • This team did not look ready to play in the first half.  They were disjointed and not engaged.
  • Another early goal from a defensive miscue.  I like Mera's 1 on 1 defending stills but he isn't reading the game well.  This is now two games in a row where he's been out of position on a goal.
  • Brown had an awful game, highlighted by his PK being stopped.  It was the same shot he beat Kennedy on earlier this season, and Kennedy was waiting for it.
  • Some fans have questioned Brown taking the PK as a rookie.  Of the 11 Rapids on the field at that moment, Brown had scored against Kennedy this season, Sturgis had converted his one attempt in 2010 for his only MLS goal before this season, and nobody else on the field had ever taken a PK in MLS.  Given those choices, Brown seems to be the best choice.
  • Brown had at least 3 other great chances and came up empty.
  • That was still ahead of Castrillon, who crashed into Brown ruining one of those chances, or the red carded Cascio.
  • Cascio's red card was very weak.  His first yellow card was a gift to Chivas and the second was clearly the ref looking to even up the teams.  A bad move by Cascio to go in high like that, but that's not a second yellow if Chivas isn't already down a man.
  • I expect Farfan to get at least 2 extra games for that dirty tackle on O'Neill.  It could have very easily blown his knee out or broken his leg.  Bowen will probably also get an additional game for his spitting.
  • To his credit, Bowen tweeted out an apology for his actions.
  • Rivero made a good impact on the game coming back from injury, and his goal was top notch.  Getting him synced up with Torres and Sanchez is the key to the rest of the season.
  • Mwanga was useless, again.
  • Moor had an unusually bad game, not something we could really afford with the number of other players having bad games.
  • Colorado outshot Chivas USA 26-6 but only 7-6 on target.  Torres can't play soon enough.
  • We also outposessed Chivas 70-30.
  • So, just a horrible result for the work we put in.  The two points lost combined with the draw last week really puts us behind in the playoff race.  We can't afford anything but a win next week and we have to win the remaining three home games after that.  They're all must wins and we're probably still going to need another 2-4 road points on top of that.
Player of the Match: Vicente Sanchez.  His insertion at halftime completely re-energized the team and added bite to our attack.  He moves fast with the ball, has a nose for goal, and wants to take the game to the opponent.  Hard to know if this was a one time thing or not, but I liked his first appearance.

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