Monday, March 17, 2014

Colorado Sneaks Out Of NY With A Point

A solid game with one defensive breakdown and one generous call let to a 1-1 draw in NY on Saturday.  It didn't start out that way though, as for the first 15 minutes the Red Bulls had the Rapids back on their heels.  After getting their feet under them the Rapids started controlling the game.  In the last 30 minutes of the half the Rapids had shots on target from Jose Mari, Nick LaBrocca, Deshorn Brown, and two from Dillon Serna.  Labrocca's was probably the best chance, with a long shot that Robles had to parry away from the upper corner, along with the 4 other saves, to keep the game scoreless at half.

The second half was both more and less eventful.  ;)  Only 3 shots on target the whole half, but 2 of them went in.  First, in the 57th minute, Torres took a bad touch near midfield giving the ball up.  After an initial clearance from Moor Lloyd Sam found an unmarked Thierry Henry in the 6 who headed the ball through a diving Berner's legs for the lead.  15 minutes later Vicente Sanchez played a ball into the box that Chavez tried to corral only to collide with Olave.  The referee decided to call the penalty and Sanchez finished it to level the score.  The only other shot on target was a late attempt from Henry that Berner saved, not that those of us watching on Altitude saw it.

I thought that the Rapids would need to take advantage of NY's weakness down the middle, and largely they were forced that way due to the weak offensive support they got from their wingers.  With the exception of Serna they really got nothing offensively out of Torres, Klute, and O'Neill.  That's something that will need to improve quickly.

Other Observations:

  • Berner did very well for being a rookie.  He's not going to take the starting job from Irwin, but knowing he's out third keeper (and thus, Nasco would presumably be better) makes me feel better about our goalkeeping options.
  • Wynne and O'Neill flubbed the NY goal.  Both moved to cover Cahill, leaving Henry unmarked.  Not the guy you want unmarked inside the 6!  Even though Henry nutmegged Berner on the header you can't blame the keeper in that situation.
  • Of course the whole sequence started with Torres giving up the ball then giving up on supporting the play.  Combined with the pretty invisible presence on offence it was not the performance you want from your DP.
  • Jose Mari was solid and quiet, pretty much exactly what you want from your defensive mid.
  • Powers appeared a little rusty and/or excited to have the season started.  He needed to take a second from time to time and make the solid pass, not play quite so hectic.
  • Deshorn Brown needs to remember he has teammates.  There were at least tow incidents where Brown got the ball, put his head down, and steamrolled to goal where if he had just looked up he would have seen an open teammate with a better shot.
  • Sanchez calmed things down and took control when he came in.  He should start next week.
  • The PK was incredibly weak.  There was contact but not enough to be worthy of a penalty call, and Chavez's embellishment was embarrassing.
  • Got to love this tweet from Powers after the game, great attitude from Pablo:

After they added 6 mins of stoppage Pablo says "Fine-why don't you just add 7 or 8 or 9. We want to win this game" Love that mentality.

Man of the Match: Dillon Serna.  With a 19-year old getting his first professional start you're just happy if he doesn't cause any major blunders.  Instead he was the best player on the pitch for Colorado at least until Sanchez entered the game (and Sanchez was a close runner-up for MOTM).  I questioned that he had earned a starting spot yet, but he proved me wrong int he first half.  I expect to see him get his first start in front of his home fans on Saturday.

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