Thursday, March 12, 2015

Good Point From Bad Play

Sorry for going quiet, a family emergency called me out of town.  I'll dispense with the game recap as at this point I assume everyone has seen the game or at least the "highlights".  Getting a point on the road in the season opener is a good result, but this was a poorly played game that the Rapids were lucky to get the point they got.

  • The Rapids set a new team record low with only 2 shots all game
  • They tied a league record (with 7 other games) with 0 shots on goal
  • They had more fouls than in any game last season
Looking at those stats they accurately reflect the game.  Colorado had no real offensive plan other than hoof it forward and hope Badji, and later Brown, could do something with it (they largely couldn't) while playing tough defense and denying the Union good looks at goal (which they did until late).  It worked but its not a game plan that's going to get us very far over the course of the season.

General impressions:

  • Very disappointed that Juan Ramirez didn't make the 18.  Word is he's nursing a hamstring injury so probably good they didn't risk him but lets hope it heals quickly and he's ready for NYCFC in 9 days.
  • Brown and Powers were also both nursing knocks which is why they came off the bench.
  • Sarvas looked like the "difference-maker" we were looking for, maybe the only new player that looked that good.
  • Sanchez had a surprisingly poor game.  Everyone's allowed an off game from time to time so hopefully we see the better Sanchez next week.
  • Both of Burling's yellow cards were good calls and just poor play.  On the first Sapong pushed the ball towards the endline.  Burling has stuck his leg in front of Sapong and CJ goes over it (he didn't fight much)  Unnecessary foul but it happens.  But to add to it Burling gives Sapong a shove in the back as he topples over.  Easy yellow for a push that gained nothing and din't need to happen.
  • On the second Burling gets beat by the Philly forward in the center circle and yanks back on his shoulder.  A good yellow foul if he's beat and nobody is there to easily cover, a red if he's the last man.  In this case all three other defenders were behind Burling to cover, completely unnecessary for a first, horrible for a second yellow.
  • Forget high balls in the box when Sjoberg is playing.  He'll beat everyone to them.  He needs to watch the elbows though.  Partially because he swings them too much but also partially because he starts off so much higher than most players his elbows are more likely to impact heads.
  • Harrington was solid and quiet, all you want out of a defender.  Good game from him.
  • Riley was not.  A stupid kick in the back late in the game was ignored by Peterscu (typical of his style of officiating) but not by the DisCo toda,y who suspended him for a game.
  • The DisCo also fined Burling for taking too long to leave the field after the red and warned the team about mass confrontation.  All fair actions.  Looks like #RapidsThugLife is back and that's not a good thing.  Colorado was far too physical in this game and that's not the style I thought we were looking for.
Pablo's quote after the game has me shaking my head:
I’d be hard pressed not to give it a 10. I say that because we were a man down for 20 minutes in these conditions. It is easy to lay down. There are so many things you could make excuses about. And the players did not. They made a statement. It is not the result but the mentality that they leave behind and will carry with them going into the next game.
Really?  A 10 out of 10 with no shots on goal, 2 total shots, 1 given red card and lucky not to get a second (which the Disco made up for), another 3 yellow cards, and a general look like there was no real plan?  If that's a 10 then I'd hate to see a 5, or a 1!

Small sample size warning and all but looking at the other opening matches this team has a lot of work to do to even be competitive in this league, much less challenge for a playoff spot.

Man of the Match: Clint Irwin.  Stood strong in net, including one point-blank save from Casey (and who didn't see that coming) to get his first shutout and apparently win the starting job.

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