Monday, May 19, 2014

FaKe Fakes Their Way To A Win

Poor play and poor officiating led to a poor result on Saturday.  The Rapids waited for 50+ minutes and 2 goals to start playing and the hole was too deep by that point.  The Rapids barely played well enough to get a draw but can't be that upset by the loss.  PK luck tends to even out over the course of the season, and the questionable calls we got in NY and against Kansas City (the first PK call at least) are balanced out by the poor PK call in this one.  Given the option though, I'd gladly give back the point from the NY game to get a point in this one.

My strategic consideration for this game was playing our best XI.  O'Neill was left on the bench due to, according to one report, needing a rest after being banged up.  While that is understandable the RMC is not the time to be resting players, and if he was getting a rest, why did he start and captain the reserves in the game against FSL the next morning?  I suspect that O'Neill's night off was just a part of Pablo's rotation policy and not due to him needing a rest.  So no, we did not put out our best XI and given our defensive confusion in the first half, that might have cost us.
  • The PK was completely bogus.  Irwin made no contact at all and Moor was making contact for multiple steps before Sandoval went to the ground. Irwin's dive would have caused the AR to be shielded so I can only assume that Geiger was also shielded and thought he saw something he didn't.  Geiger is the best the U.S. has (he'll be going to Brazil this summer) so to see him make a mistake like that was pretty surprising.
  • He did catch Morales' even worse dive later in the half and gave him the appropriate yellow card.  It doesn't make up for the PK call, but I got a good laugh out of it.
  • On the one true FSL goal the defense was completely pulled out of shape and Plata was the open man on the far side.  Complete confusion on who was taking who as the ball changed fields cost us.  That's the type of thing you would expect a stable defensive line to be better at.
  • Less than 10 minutes later Plata almost scored an identical goal, but the play took just a bit longer to develop allowing Irwin to get into position to make the save.
  • The number of basic passes we failed to complete was maddening.  Simple touches that we sent flying out of bounds or directly to FSL.  At one point Brown even dribbled the ball too hard right to FSL.  This is high-school stuff we're screwing up.
  • That said, once the PK was scored we started looking by a real team.  We had multiple good looks at goal that were off target, off the post, or well-saved.  Moor had 3 great headers and he managed to get the last on target for a goal.
  • There were multiple open net opportunities that would have been scored had somebody been crashing the goal was the ball came across.  I don't know where our other attackers were, but the chances went wanting.
  • Sturgis and LaBrocca shouldn't start together.  It just slows down our midfield to the point of being ineffective.
  • Danny Mwanga was our offensive lifeline.  Could you feel the excitement when he came in?
  • Still liking the look of Marlon Hairston.  Maybe he should be the 4th midfielder with Sanchez out, though that leaves us young in midfield (Serna, Powers, and Hairston along with Jose Mari).
  • Given the news on Torres (more on that tomorrow) we need to get used to Brown and Buddle up front for a while, so they're going to have to figure out how to make it work.
  • In the last 5 games we have 4 points and 4 goals.  Montreal this weekend is just about a must win to stop the tailspin this season is diving into.

Man of the Match: Drew Moor.  The PK was bogus and his goal may have kept alive our Rocky Mountain Cup chances this year.

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