Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Called That One

Quoting my game preview from last Thursday:
2-1 loss, goal by Brown.  I think the missing talent is too much to overcome for the Rapids tomorrow.  Because of the weak defense the Rapids will get a goal but our inability to maintain possession in midfield will wear us down and Portland will get a winner late.
And that covers the game review because that's exactly what happened.  Probably the more accurate prediction I've ever made.

My strategic consideration was defense and it got torn apart on both goals.  Too many young players in new positions possibly.
  • The first thing I want to point out, and for me one of the most positive moments of the game, was the way Pablo reacted when Powers got a bit stunned by taking a ball off the face in the first half.  After Rojas saw to him and brought him to the sideline Pablo was clearly willing to make an early change and put him on the bench if that's what was best for Dillon, especially with his concussion history.  Its good to see a coach be that concerned about the well-being of a player and not about the result.  I'm sure Pablo's own concussion history influenced him.
  • Good garbage goal by the Rapids.  Brown got the credit but it was good to see the team fighting and clawing to get that ball over the line.
  • Sadly Pablo would have to make an early change as Brown pulled up with a groin injury.  Looked like he pulled it while contesting for a ball.  Hopefully it won't keep him out long.
  • I said the Rapids were going to be playing 10 on 11 when I heard Mwanga was coming on for Brown but Danny had a decent (but not great) game, particularly with some good hold up play in the first half.  It doesn't justify his salary but he's been worse in the past.
  • I wanted Torres to come in, but he didn't do much of anything when he did enter in the second half.  We need more from our DP.
  • Losing Hairston to injury as well made it hard for Pablo to make tactical changes.  Signs are positive that Hairston will be available Friday though.
  • On both goals Klute looked to be at fault but I don't think he really was on either one.  On the first nobody dropped behind him to take the extra man (I think that was Alvarez's job) and Klute was left in no-man's land covering two players.  On the second Watts was trailing Chara's run and Watts had to stay back and defend the passing lane, which allowed Valeri the space to hit the shot.  Had Klute stepped up to Valeri then Valeri could have dumped it to Chara for the better shot.
  • That said, Valeri hit a hell of a shot.  Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to a great move and realize there wasn't much that could be done.
  • The real failure on both goals was the midfield's inability to hold possession in the second half, leaving the defense under pressure for too long.
  • Watts had a horrible game on the back of his two games where he made critical errors.  We need Jose Mari back ASAP but it looks like our best hope on Friday is LaBrocca.
  • Sturgis would also work but I think we got a deal in Alvarez.  He has to work on his defense but I like his aggression in attack.
  • Had Burch not got sick pore-game and started instead of Piermayr as planned the Rapids would have been playing with an all-American XI once Mwanga replaced Brown.
  • Luckily most of the West failed to win this week, so we didn't lose too much ground.
Man of the Match: Deshorn Brown.  Not only did he get the goal but you could see how much the Rapids offense lost when he came off injured.  His absence is going to hurt.

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