Monday, April 18, 2016

Welcome To Colorado Jermaine!

From my preview on Friday:
1-0 win, goal by Jones.  NY is also on short rest and playing at altitude and in weather.  They haven't had much of an offense lately and our defense is pretty stout.  This sets up for Jermaine Jones to make a big impact in his first game.
So it was actually a goal and an assist from Jones and we won 2-1.  Missed it by that much.

General Impressions:
  • As much fun as that game was, it probably shouldn't have been played.  Much like Snow Clasico I the conditions in the second half weren't soccer, they were survival.
  • While the result and experience were fun, the wet nature of the snow wasn't.  Took me hours to get warm once I got home.
  • Big thanks to the Rapids for the free hot chocolate (and coffee for those who preferred that).  Many sports teams would have taken full advantage of the conditions to make money, not rewarded their fans for showing up (and they also allowed anyone who couldn't make it to trade in their ticket for another game). 
  • Also kudos to Kevin Doyle for coming out in the conditions to the tailgate as previously arranged.  I don't think anyone would have blamed him if he had rescheduled, though if reports are accurate this might be the last game he's not playing in for a while.
  • As far as the game goes there's not much you can critique on an individual level.  Everyone was just trying to deal with the conditions and its not fair to judge them on that performance.
  • We can point out good things though, like Mikeil Williams' assist on the first goal.  After a nice setup pass from Pappa he sent a great ball across the box for JJ to run onto.
  • Maybe my only negative comment about the game is Jones' aggressive tackle right before his assist.  There's a hint if an intentional foot to the NY player's leg in the aerial challenge.  not enough to actually state he was trying to spike him but it would be good to remove that doubt by not kicking out like that.
  • The Rapids were unlucky not to have more than 2.  Badji almost scored a carbon copy of his goal late and Pappa's early second half shot would have beat most keepers.
  • One piece of negative news, Pappa's injury that took him out of the game turned out to be a MCL sprain that will keep him out 2-3 weeks.  So the decision of who sits for Jones is solved for a couple of games.
  • My preseason predictions included me stating that we would fail to get 12 points in our first 9 games leading to Pablo being fired.  We now have 13 points in our first 7 games.  Oops.  Barring the bottom falling out on this team Pablo's job is safe for the season.
  • The Rapids are 3rd in the league on total points, 4th on points per game.  I don't think anyone had the seasons starting that well.
  • The Bodmer Line sits at 1.26 points per game the rest of the way.  For those that missed the Bodmer Line last season, its the average pts/game needed the rest of the season to hit 47 points which is the average point total for the 6th placed team (last team to make the playoffs) since the league went to 34 games in 2011.  Named after Centennial 38 Grand Poobah Mark Bodmer, who came up with the metric about the same time I did and deserves some credit for it.  For reference we're at 1.86 pts/game so far this season.
Man of the Match: Jermaine Jones.  Probably the most dominant performance by a Rapid this season.  Pablo played him in a free role and let him do what was needed and it worked.  He owned the field Saturday night, lead the team, and immediately showed what kind of impact he'll make this season.

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