Wednesday, May 6, 2015

2015 At The Quarter Pole

As of halftime on Saturday night the Rapids were exactly 25% of the way through the season.  A quick recap:
  • 1-6-2 record = 1 pt/game
  • 8 goals scored in 9 games
  • 8 goals conceded in 9 games
  • Undefeated on the road
  • Winless at home
  • 10th place in the West, 17th place overall
So more bad than good there, which is probably a fair assessment of the season so far.  Let's break it down by position.

Goalkeeper: Irwin has been a stud in goal, seeing off any kind of challenge from MacMath for the starting spot.  There's maybe 1 or 2 of those 8 goals conceded that you could suggest that Irwin could have done better on.  Berner has been playing for Charlotte and was named USL Player of the Week this week.  Grade: A

Defense: The center backs have been solid.  Moor, Sjoberg, O'Neill, and Burling have worked well together and other than the Seattle game (against the best strike force in the league) has only been beat by top notch play.  Harrington is a great left back, though at times there seems to be a bit of a gab between him and the left center back that can be exploited.  Right back is a mess.  Burch being available to play left and moving Harrington to right is the only configuration I feel comfortable with.  So far Riley, Newnam, and Watts are proving they shouldn't be starting in MLS.  Grade: B-

Midfield: Tons of improvement here.  Ramirez is young and raw but is showing why he was made a youth DP.  Sarvas was a great pickup, though his knee injury hurts.  Powers is powering (pun intended) the offense with 4 assists.  Pittinari has been capable but hasn't stood out really, he's going to need to up his game if he wants to make a permanent move.  Serna seems to be the odd man out but is a great sub off the bench.  LaBrocca is LaBrocca, some love him, others (me) don't.  Grade: B

Attack: The great weakness of the team.  We only have one true striker (Badji) and one withdrawn striker (Torres).  Badji is proving he's not ready for MLS while Torres is carrying the goal-scoring for the Rapids, with half of the club's goals.  The team is creating chances but can't finish them.  They have moved to solve the problem (more on that later) but for now the attack hasn't been good enough.  Grade: F

Coaching: Pablo has gotten the team playing with a purpose and showing better talent.  He still fails at in-game adjustments though.  His substitutions are questionable and the other coach regularly beats him at second-half tactics.  The addition of Lopez seems to be paying dividends in the player acquisition field but the attack is still suffering.  Mastroeni's post-game Zen quotes are getting ridiculous when there's been 1 win in 23 games and a league-tying 10 games without a win at home.  Credit for establishing a style but everything else has to improve.  Grade: D

Front Office: The roster construction around our strike force was criminal.  Expecting a rookie 4th round pick to carry the team in a 4-5-1 formation is ridiculous.  Selling Brown when we had the chance was good business but not having a replacement lined up until July 1st and getting lucky that Wolves missed the playoffs is a huge mistake.  They've made good moves getting Doyle here early and finding Solignac, but those are moves that should have been made before the season started.  Grade: D

Overall: The team has talent, one of the better defenses in the league, and a midfield that can make chances.  They've only lost twice, to two of the top 3 teams in the league.  The inability to score, especially at home, and the solitary win isn't good enough to keep us in the playoff hunt.  The team needs to start putting goals away and turning draws into wins, otherwise we'll be out of the race by midseason.  Grade: D+


Schmicker said...

Very interesting that a team with 1 win in 11 games gets an such high scores at GK,Def,Mid. Are the coaching and strikers really this bad?

Jason Maxwell said...

Yes, yes they are. Colorado is in the top 5 in shots and shots on goal but can't finish, and teams are out coaching Pablo in the second half.

Its 1 win in 9 this season BTW. Its also only 2 losses in 9.

Schmicker said...

I'm just assuming the next two are losses (either that or I can't add)