Monday, August 29, 2016

Rapids Flatline In Sandy

A rivalry game usually results in the players playing with more drive, passion, and desire than normal.  After the first 5 minutes on Friday night we saw the opposite.  The Rapids, with one notable exception, were flat for the remaining 85 minutes and lost 2-1, which was a generous socreline to Colorado.

General Impressions:
  • The game started well, with Gashi getting on a rebound of a Badji shot to give us an early 1-0 lead.  Most Rapids fans had to feel pretty good about a draw (and retention of the Rocky Mountain Cup) at worst at that point.
  • After that, we ceded all possession to FSL.  We asked our defense to hold a 1-0 lead for 85 minutes.  No surprise it didn't work.
  • In the first 65 minutes of the game the Rapids out-possessed FSL for only one 5 minute period, from 30-35'.  In that time we didn't get a single shot off.
  • Not that our defense looked like it could have defended a lead for 15, much less 85 minutes.  The ball-watching was criminal.
  • Yura Movsisyan was unmarked all night.  I don't know if the team was just falling down on their assignments or this was a strategic decision but whatever it was it was bad.  Not surprisingly he got both FSL goals.
  • I'll say this about the PK calls.  Ball don't lie.
  • The first call was a complete ghost call.  No foul there at all.  The second did have some contact from Miller but not any more that goes uncalled every week in this league.
  • Miller had a particularly bad game BTW.
  • How about that PK save from Tim?  High point of the game and I was hoping we'd ride that emotional boost to a tying goal.  Or not.
  • The ref was letting a lot of gamesmanship from FSL go.  hope Solo would approve.
  • Pablo takes blame for some of this.  Powers should not be starting over Azira.  The midfield struggles to control possession with a Powers - Cronin back 2.
  • His like for like subs and stubborn dedication to the 4-2-3-1 is also on him.  Doyle is wasted up top with no help or a top flight midfield passer (like Jones) to feed him.  We need a second striker.
  • That said, the players have to take a large chink of responsibility for this game.  I expect more, not less, from them in a rivalry match.  Nobody outside of Howard acted like they wanted to be there.
  • An example of how casual they were playing.  In stoppage tie down a goal an attacking throw-in ended up being played all the way back to Howard.  That's pitiful.
  • That's a bit unfair to Gashi I guess.  He was showing effort but you can't beat Rimando from distance without a lucky bounce like the first goal.
  • Somehow we still had more shots on goal than them.
  • This season was fun while it lasted but I'm pretty sure the bottom is about to drop out. If you asked me to make a prediction right now I'd say a 3rd place finish, win the home wild-card, lose to LA/FSL in the next round. The Front Office will call it a successful season since they achieved their goal of a home playoff game.
Man of the Match: Tim Howard.  The one guy who seemed to care about winning this game.  Sorry your teammates let you down.

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