Monday, September 16, 2013

Deja Vu All Over Again

The Rapids went down on a goal by Dallas' David Ferreria but came back to win 2-1 on a goal from a forward and an own goal.  Wait, why does that sound familiar?  Oh, that's right.  :D

Before the entertaining 2nd half though the fans had to deal with a 50 minute weather delay before the gates even opened and a relatively dull first half that didn't have a single shot on target.  At halftime Dallas inserted Blas Perez and went to work.  The move paid dividends (indirectly) almost immediately by stretching the defense and allowing Ferreria to find a hole between O'Neill and Moor int he 51st minute.  He took a cross from Jair Benitez and slotted ti home for the 1-0 lead.  Then Vicente Sanchez went to work.

In the 59th minute he tracked a poor clearance from Dallas' Mark Watson that fell straight down to him int he box.  With a wide open far post Sanchez volleyed the dropping ball home to level the score.  6 minutes later Sanchez took a pass from Klute, broke George 'Own Goal' John's ankles with a great cut, and crossed it to an onrushing Gabriel Torres.  Just before Torres got there Matt Hedges dove in and poked the ball away...right into his own goal.  2-1 lead for the burgundy boys.

After that there were some iffy moments from our defense.  German Mera entered the game for the final few minutes and the Rapids went to a flat back 5, something they appeared unfamiliar with.  They held firm enough though and got the win.

My key to the game was focus for the players after dealing with the week in Denver and Blas Perez.  Neither team looked particularly focused in the first half but once Perez came in (and later, Brown and Torres for the Rapids), things got interesting.  The Rapids did enough though.

Random Thoughts:
  • Big win this week, especially combined with the other results.  The only other Western team to get a win was Seattle, so the Rapids put a bit of a cushion into their place in the standings.  They're now a point ahead of LA, 2 ahead of Portland, and 5 ahead of Dallas who are in 6th (though all 3 have a game in hand).
  • Interesting that both Perez and Torres started on the bench after their play for Panama.  As the big attacking options for both teams I expected them to start almost no matter what.
  • Sanchez's goal was perfectly lined up with section 108 to see it setup.  The gaping hole at the far post was easy to see, it was just a matter of if Sanchez could hit it right.  Clearly he did.
  • The second goal may have been an own goal, but had Hedges not poked the ball away Torres would have had an easy tap-in.  It would have been a goal either way.
  • Interesting that Rivero can't break the starting lineup now that he's healthy.  We have done well without him, but given that the Rapids reportedly have a million-dollar decision on him at the end of the season it doesn't bode well for keeping him.
  • Buddle was more active in this one again, maybe he's really figuring it out.
  • Wynne had a dangerous slide late that could have been a PK but on replay I think he made a good tackle and didn't commit a foul.  Even if he did it appeared to be just outside the box.
  • Wettest tailgate we've ever had.  Made it hard to enjoy the pig roast but a big kudos to the C38 tailgate team for working through it!
  • At least by announcing the kickoff delay early we were all able to stay at the tailgate and enjoy before heading in.  The lack of the mini-doughnut stand was a bummer though.
  • Now, onto Portland for another big game.
Player of the Match: Vicente Sanchez.  No need to explain this pick.  Right now he's clearly, IMO, been the best mid-season signing in the league.

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