Thursday, October 31, 2013


Well that sucked. The Rapids of the last 3 games on the road showed up in Seattle last night, with the expected result. They were assisted by a number of mind-numbing mistakes from Oscar Pareja in his lineup and sub choices en route to a 2-0 loss. I'm going to dispense with the normal recap, because there's not much to say, for just some general comments about the game.

My key to the game was was score early, score often. We didn't score at all so that was a failure.

Random Thoughts:
  • In what universe is it a good idea to make a change to your established back line going into the playoffs, especially a one-and-done game on the road?  Mera was completely ineffective and directly responsible for both goals (and could have given up a 3rd on a PK).
  • Meanwhile O'Neill, now on the right, had no positive impact on the game and took away whatever attack we had down the right this season.
  • Powers and Sanchez weren't available so Rivero and Harris started.  Rivero made sense (LaBrocca has added nothing to the attack the last few starts) but he had a minimal impact.  There is no way the Rapids should be buying him this off-season at any level that would make him a DP.  If we can get him on loan cheap again then its worth it,, but I shudder to consider tying up a large percentage of our salary cap in him given how unproven he appears to be.
  • Harris was, as always, useless.  Cascio would have been a better start or, dare I say it, Buddle.
  • Thomas' play has really dropped off in the second half of the season.  Last night he was lucky not to draw a red.
  • The officiating was horrible, but didn't impact the end result.  Yedlin getting away with an elbow to Brown's face was shocking but not surprising given Petrescu's normal level for violent conduct, which involves practically knifing a guy to draw a yellow card.  To turn around and yellow Harris right after that for a tackle that didn't even make contact was ridiculous though.
  • Having spent too much time around refs I can see what Petrescu was thinking not calling the PK on the Rapids, but I wouldn't have objected had it been called.
  • The Dempsey-Irwin collision that drew a yellow on Irwin was probably a fair result, given that Irwin was the last man but with the ball rolling out towards the corner.  The way Petrescu let the Thomas-Yedlin collision go uncalled in the first half though a red would have been incredibly unfair to the Rapids (not to mention against the USSF's ATR on the 4 D's).
  •  I don't think I've seen a keeper make a mental blunder quite like the one Gspurning made to see red.  You could kind of justify only a yellow there for the handling, but to follow it up with a wild swing at Buddle (even if he did go down easy) made red an easy call.
  • Eddie Johnson gesticulating at the official afterwards was real classy.  He's surprised me with his quality of play since he got back to MLS, but his attitude is such that I'm not that disappointed that he was whisked out from under the Rapids at the last minute.
  • Pareja's subs: Sanchez for Rivero - OK, Rivero wasn't that effective but there were better options (Harris) to pull.  Buddle for Brown - Yeah, because down a goal in a must win match is the perfect time to pull the season's leading scorer.  Wynne for Sturgis.  W.T.F.  Now you put Wynne in, instead of from the beginning when he could have helped on D?
  • Of course the bench makeup was equally puzzling.  The non-GK unused subs were Wallace, LaBrocca, and Serna.  No Castrillon, Hill, Cascio, or Mwanga.  So after Buddle and Sanchez there was essentially no offensive help on the bench.  Stupid.
  • Not surprisingly Seattle had as many goals as we had shots on target (2).  That makes 5 shots on target in our last 4 road games combined while being outscored 7-0.  That's the fundamental reason our season is over.
  • A nice insult to injury move by the Rapids social media guys, who changed their Facebook cover photo to a image with "Renew Your 2014 Season tickets" within minutes of the final whistle.  How about letting the body cool first before hitting us up for money?
  • Rooting for a Portland-New England MLS Cup now.  Two fan bases that have been awesome working with the Rapids fan base.  I wouldn't get too upset with another LA win though, only because Pablo would get a second ring.  Same thing for NY and Koz.
  • Over the weekend and into next week I'll be posting my typical player of the year, season review, and offseason lineup decision columns. 
Player of the Match: Vicente Sanchez.  He subbed in played the last 30 minutes with a fractured bone in his shoulder and still had the biggest effect on our offense all night.


Schmicker said...

As always, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Ok, maybe not beauty, but Gspurning did not wildly swing at Buddle. Please.

So where do the Rapids go if Pareja goes to Dallas?

As for the foul on Irwin - you're right. The ball was going to the corner, but Dempsey still could have gotten it, albeit it a less than desirable position. I have no problems with the red on Gspurning or the yellow on Irwin, but the Irwin foul denied a better scoring opportunity. So make of that what you will. Irwin barely complained, so I think he knows he got lucky not to see red.

New England in the MLS Cup Final? Yuck. Just yuck.

Jason Maxwell said...

Maybe a wild shove is more accurate than swing. Swing implies a punch which is was not, but you can't shove out like that in the jaw/upper chest area (hard to tell for sure but I think he got Buddle on the shoulder not the chin), especially after a stupid play like that, and expect to get away with it.

No Idea what happens if OP goes back to Texas.

I'd agree that Dempsey had a better chance to score than Buddle (and not because of the relative talent between the two players) but the USSF has been pretty clear about what needs to be in place for a red for Denial of an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity and under those definitions the Gspurning foul was more clearly red than the Irwin one. Not to mention where Petrescu had set the bar for physical play up to that point.

Schmicker said...

Again, I'm not debating the Gspurning red. I'm not even debating the Irwin yellow. I just know both put themselves in bad positions. Gspurning was stupid. Irwing probably a bit stupid too.

Also, if Buddle gets hit in the chin there is no way he had that 'hah, I just suckered you' smile on his face. I mean, it was ear to ear.

Jason Maxwell said...

Agreed, that's why I'm pretty sure he took the shove in the shoulder. But as a keeper you can't get that close and leave it up to the ref to interpret what he saw.