Monday, April 16, 2018

B Team Rapids Handle B Team TFC

The Rapids did what they were supposed to do and beat a weakened TFC side on Saturday.  A number of people are discrediting the win because we were facing TFC's B team while they rested for the CCL.  Its true, they didn't have many regular starters (other than Drew Moor!) but many of these analysts are ignoring what the Rapids were missing, upwards of 7 starters weren't in the starting XI.  Ford, Wilson, Hairston. Gashi, Aigner, and one of Boli/Mason (and arguably both of them) were expected to be pat of our best eleven but didn't start the game.  Really it was our B+ team against the B- team of the "best team in MLS history" and the Rapids got the job done.

Other Observations:

  • Gotta love starting with a goal before half the fans have sat down.  Great shot from Price and its the only goal this season not from a striker.
  • Colvey started again, which seemed a poor choice early as TFC relentlessly attacked his side of the defense.  Kudos to Hudson for seeing the problem and making a first half tactical sub to bring in Serna.  That shut down TFC's hope of going up that side.
  • The Rapids could have, and probably should have, had a multi-goal lead at half as only some great defense and a big save kept them off the board.
  • Meanwhile TFC only had 2 good looks at goal until late in the game and things were pretty much wrapped up.
  • Badji's PK call is one I'm happy to see called.  If he went down on first contact its a no-brainer PK but he tried to fight through it and didn't fully go down for a couple of steps, making it look more like a dive.  By rewarding him for trying to fight through it, even though he failed, it sets a good standard to avoid diving on easy contact instead of staying alive to take the shot.
  • We had a Gashi sighting!  Great PK, good goal celebration, and wicked shot that looked like a certain 3rd goal late until Irwin came out of nowhere to save it.  Reminded everyone of what we've been missing.
  • Also Boli made his debut!  Up 2-0 and just trying to kill the game off he didn't have to do much but good to see him get minutes.
  • Sjoberg looked good again as a starter.  There's no reason he shouldn't be starting in Ford's place over Wynne.
  • Castillo is having a very-quiet very-high quality start to this season.  Probably the most consistent player we have.
  • McBean made a good run on the first goal.  Other than that he was largely quiet.  He's at best 4th in the pecking order now and I'd rather see Jackson and make McBean 5th.
  • Price's yellow late was dumb.  There's no reason to go into that tackle up 2-0.  As good of a game as he had that was a blemish and I'm guessing, with the high intensity FSL game this weekend, he'll pick up a 5th and miss the next home game.
  • This was probably the most complete game the Rapids have played this season.  They've been better in spurts but not for the full 90.
  • Despite that we still lost the possession battle.  I think we just have to get used to that.  
  • Great to see Irwin and Moor back at DSG.  Moor is one of the all-time greats and we'll see his name in the Gallery of Honor once he retires.
  • The Rapids have 9 goals in their first 5 games.  The last time we did that was 2006!
  • Next up, Rocky Mountain Cup Part 1.  All I ask is that we get a least a point (though I think FSL is beatable) to make sure the final game in Colorado is meaningful.
Man of the Match: Dominque Badji.  He didn't show up on the score sheet in this one but he had a hell of a game.  He's turned into a complete player over the last few months and this game really showed how dangerous he can be.  He was causing trouble for the TFC defense all day and was heavily involved the whole game.

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