Monday, November 7, 2016

Rapids' Stars Outshine Galaxy

Howard.  Gashi.  Jones.  When we needed our big names to step up they asked "how high?".  Colorado outplayed LA over 120 minutes and then got the job done in PKs.  If you remember my prediction:
1-0 win, goal by Jones.  We then go into extra time and PKs and on the back of Howard we advance to the conference finals. 
Ok, the (jaw-dropping) goal was actually by Gashi but otherwise I nailed it.  Bring on the Sounders!

General Impressions:
  • Nice job by the FO to have Conor Casey there to be recognized on his retirement.  I assume he'll be back next season when we put his name in the Gallery of Honor.
  • It was interesting to see LA accept Colorado being the aggressor in this one.  Certainly not what I expected.
  • Jermaine Jones is a beast.  He didn't look like somebody starting his first game in 4 months.  He was in midseason form.
  • Part of that was probably because Jurgen Klinsmann was in the house specifically to evaluate JJ for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.  He apparently liked what he saw as he included Jones on the roster for this weekend's games.
  • He also announced after the game that Tim Howard has reclaimed the #1 spot for the Nats.
  • Also leaving for the international weekend are Doyle (Ireland) and Azira (Uganda).  Gashi was also called up but with his injury he won't travel (I assume).
  • Gashi's goal goes right into the all-time tier just below 'Celo's bike.  The swerve that ball had on it was amazing.
  • As the game went on the Galaxy were playing more and more for PKs it seems.  Taking Gordon, Donovan, and Magee out for Keane, Gerrard, and Larentowicz was very defensive and made it less likely they would score.
  • Both sides were somewhat lucky not to end with 10 men.  Van Damme could have seen red on that studs into the back of Badji and Cronin could have been ejected for that studs up tackle.
  • The first half of extra time was all Colorado.  LA was doing everything it could just to keep the ball out.  The second half was more even but at that point I think both teams were just trying to get to PKs.
  • Doyle got away with an iffy PK, but Le Toux and Pappa buried theirs.
  • You certainly saw a Tim Howard effect on :LA's kicks.  dos Santos knew he had to be perfect and hit the upper corner, but missed badly.  Then Tim took over.
  • Including the 4 yesterday Howard has faced 11 PKs this year and only 5 were scored.  IIRC the other 6 were 4 saves and 2 misses.
  • Great intensity from the crowd yesterday.  The only home game at DSG that came close was the 2010 Eastern Conference Final.
  • REally the only negatives were Gashi;s injury (initial reports are not serious) and the #10 position.  Both Doyle and Powers were somewhat invisible.
  • Next up, Seattle.  We play their on Tuesday Nov. 22nd at 8pm, on Fox Sports 1.  We'll play at home on Sun. Nov. 27th at 2pm on ESPN.  That's the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend BTW.
Man of the Match: Tim Howard.  Really there's about 5 players this could go to (Gashi, Jones,, Howard, Cronin, Le Toux) but when you stop 2 PKs and scare another one wide in the tiebreaker, you're the MOTM.

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