Monday, October 21, 2013


With a little help from the galaxy the Rapids got the 3 points and playoff spot they were hoping for out of this weekend.  As predicted it didn't come easy though, with a 3-2 win that wasn't comfortable until the final whistle.

The action started early, with both teams getting good looks at goal in the first 10 minutes or so.  Oddly Vancouver's shot would be their only shot on goal that didn't go in, though it felt like they were closer than that stat makes it seem.  Because of that lack of shots though the Rapids had the early run of play, which meant Manneh's goal in the 32nd minute was a bit of a shock to the home crowd.  Manneh took a pass above the box in space and chipped Irwin from 20 yards out into the upper corner for the lead.  Like we've seen at other times, particularly in the second half of the season, the Rapids got right back into it though.  About 10 minutes later Moor was dragged down in the box trying to get up to head a free kick.  Gabriel Torres stepped up and took the PK (calling Thomas off with his body language), slamming it home in an impossible to stop shot to level the game at the break.

Coming out of the half the Rapids kept the pressure up with almost immediate payoff.  In the 51st minute Deshorn Brown caught up to a Clint Irwin punt on two hops and one-touch lobbed it over the onrushing Vancouver keeper for the lead.  The Whitecaps weren't done yet though, as they would get their shot from the spot.  Former Rapid Jordan Harvey was given a free run into the box where he was tripped by Shane O'Neill.  Camilo finished the job, putting the spot kick away, and leveling the score.  Torres was not going to be denied a potential playoff-clinching win twice in a week though.  Just 2 minutes later Buddle found Torres at the corner of the box with a cross-field pass.  Gaby cut the ball inside to his left foot and unleashed a curling ball to the far post upper corner.  3-2 lead on the type of goal we made him a DP for.  Then it was a matter of hanging on through a couple of Vancouver flurries before finishing the home regular season with a win.

My key to the game was attacking.  We didn't score early but we did score often, and we didn't ease up when we went down.

Random Thoughts:
  • With the win and the draw between LA and San Jose, the only way we miss the playoffs is if we lose next week, San Jose wins, and San Jose outscores us by 13 goals.  Not. going. to. happen.
  • We could finish anywhere from 1st (unlikely) to 5th, but no worse than 4th if we win.
  • My prediction for this game forgot to factor in the ref.  Without the PK's I was dead on, 2-1 with goals by Torres and Brown.
  • Brown now has 10 goals for the season, only the second rookie to ever hit double-digits in league history.  He can tie his countryman Damani Ralph if he gets a goal next week.
  • Because of that I think Brown should be rookie of the year over Powers, but its close.
  • Nice setup pass from Buddle on Torres' game-winning goal.  Good vision.
  • Torres has 3 goals in his last two Rapids games, plus a goal for Panama in that time.  That's why he's a DP.
  • What does it say about Rivero that he's not starting over LaBrocca when Powers is out?  Can we really justify paying a million dollars and making him a DP next year?
  • Moor and O'Neill struggled a bit this week with both goals coming from center-back mistakes.
  • With this win the Rapids set season records for wins (14), home wins(10), and points(51).  They will finish no worse than 4th in pts/game and could be as high as 2nd.
  • Pareja will clearly return next year and he should.  
Player of the Match: Gabriel Torres.  Duh.  He was also named MLS Player of the Week today.  First time this season a Rapid has won that award.

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