The Rapids rolled out a lineup and a level of play yesterday that showed that they think the Shield is a "nice to have" achievement. The reason for this (presumably) was to rest players for the Cup run. Portland on the other hand was playing for their playoff lives, drew 2 PKs in the first half, converted 1, and that was enough to get the win. Combined with Dallas' win the Rapids Shield hopes are slim at this point.
- If the Rapids don't want to focus on the Shield and rest players for the Cup run that's fine but there are two points:
- It better work.
- The Front Office really should have played down the Shield talk over the last couple of weeks, not played it up with things like the #ShieldHunting hashtag and such.
- Both PK's were legit despite protests. I assume nobody is complaining about the second. Burling did get ball on the first but when you bring your trailing leg through the ankle of thee attacking player "getting ball" doesn't matter.
- Nice job by Howard keeping us in the game with the PK save.
- I'm guessing Pappa won't be back next year. He's clearly not bought into Pablo's system. That said, he should still have gotten more playing time this year than he did.
- We figured out why Williams hasn't been starting, yuck.
- Calvert looks good for his age. He doesn't look good as a starter.
- I understand why Le Toux and Burch were sat in this game (though given Williams level of play it might have been worth pushing Burch). I don't understand why a 25 year old Sjoberg and 24 year old Badji were sat with the Shield on the line.
- Next week we need to see a lineup about what we expect to see in the playoffs so everyone can get a game under their belts working together. I don't expect Calvert and Williams to get much playoff time.
Man of the Match: Tim Howard. Duh, he stopped a PK.