Monday, April 20, 2015

Rapids Continue To Be Gang That Can't Shoot Straight

Saturday provided a sstark contract between a top team in MLS and a team that...isn't.  The main difference was shown in the ability to finish as Seattle had 3 goals in 17 shots, including two goal of the week nominees (and Martins will probably be a goal of the year candidate) while Colorado had 1 goal in 27 shots.  Both teams had the same 9 shots on target and once again the opposition will probably have a save of the week nominee.  In the end though those are all excuses, what matters is wins and we failed to get one again.

General impressions:
  • That first half was as entertaining a half we've seen at the Dick since probably the second half of the Montreal game on May 24th last year.
  • Sadly the second half was back to the play we've seen far too often since that May 24th date.
  • My strategic consideration was to keep the momentum going and not get down if things don't immediately go our way.  We did a good job of that in the first half, but I wonde what would have happened with our momentum if Powers' early shot hadn't hit the post and had been scored instead.  We would have been up 1-0 instead of almost immediately being down 0-1.
  • A disturbing trend in this game is that right after we did something really good (Powers almost goal, Torres goal) we did something bad (both of Neagle's goals).  They say the 5 minutes after a team scores is a critical time for them not to lose their focus.  We losst it on Saturday.
  • The Rapids bench on Saturday: MacMath, Sjoberg, Newnam, Watts, O'Neill, LaBrocca, Serna.  That's a GK, 3 CBs, a general D, a DM, and a attacking winger.  Horrible choices if we were behind, which we were.
  • Despite that Pablo still screwed the Sanchez sub up, putting in LaBrocca and giving us 3 DMs behind two central players and a winger while down a goal.  Not surprisingly our attack immediately disappeared.
  • Sanchez was a dssiapointment in this game.  I'm really starting to think that the team has moved passed the need for him to be on the field all the time.  He tries to do too much and he doesn't seem to be in sync with the rest of the team.  We needed him the last two years when our talent was so low, but with Serna, Powers, Torres, Pittinari, and Ramirez available we've taken care of that.  He needs to transition to being a super sub and let Serna get time as the starter.
  • Of course, when Serna did come in Pablo put him at left back.  Because that's where you want the reigning goal of the week winner.
  • Riley was a disaster this game.  On the first goal Burling is out wide keeping an eye on Neagle just inside midfield.  As Seattle moves the attack into the attacking third Burling starts moving into his central position presumably expecting Riley to move back to his outside back spot.  Instead Riley just stands in space and Burling moves back out to take Neagle.  Burling backs off too far and Neagle hits a great shot to the upper far corner but the whole time Riley does nothing.
  • And that was his better goal.  The second goal was a complete mess.  Neagle runs right by Riley who's looking right at him.  Burling has his back to Neagle while covering Martins but sees the problem and both Riley and Burling run afer Neagle.  Irwin saves Neagle's shot and Burling pulls up but Riley charges straight into Irwin and in the process kicks the saved shot behind Irwin, where Neagle follows up his own shot and taps it in.
  • The third goal was mainly just a jaw-dropping touch from Martins.  Moor is right behind him and Burling is crossing in front of him but Martins one-tocuhes it between them while spinning 360.  After the touch Burling is going the opposite direction fromm the ball and Moor can't ctach up.  Tip of the hat to Oba on that one.
  • On the positive side Torres now has 2 goals and an assist in the last two games.  He did a good job in this one one-timing it through a narrow seam for the goal.
  • At this point the only players I feel confident in in front of goal are Torres and Powers, and that's just not enough for this team.  Ramirez, Sarvas, and Sanchez all had chances and couldn't hit the net.
  • Clint Dempsey needs to STFU.  Agreed he has a right to complain about Sarvas (see below) but his whining started before that even happened and continued until he was subbed out (while reportedly taunting the crowd).  And he played lousy.  Makes it harder to root for him as a Nat when you see a performance like his on Saturday.
  • The MLS Disciplinary Committee is going to have some work to do out of this one.  Chad Marshall's tackle on Sanchez early in the game was a clear red (here's where Dempsey started whining about he gift yellow) and should at least get a game.  Based on Sanchez' suspension on a very similar tackle in last year's 4th of July game it should really be the same two games Sanchez got.
  • Then you have this.  No excuse for Sarvas on this one.  While you could make the case that it wasn't intentional I find that a hard sell.  I expect a multi-game suspension.  And Dempsey has every right to complain about the bad call on that (Dempsey was called for the foul).
  • Interesting note, Torres' goal was the first time all season the home team scored in a Rapids match.
Man of the Match: Clint Irwin.  Odd to see the GK get it when he let in 3 but he couldn't do anything on Neagle's first andhe saved Neagle's second only for his defense to fail him.  He might have been able to do more on Martins shot but he saved so many others I'm not going to ding him for that, especially since we lost by more than a goal.


Schmicker said...

Oh, the taunting wasn't reported. It was on screen.

Jason Maxwell said...

Well his back was to me as he left the field so I didn't see it. ;)