Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Rapids Lose Focus, Face Plant In SLC (again)

Sorry for the lateness of this recap.  It took some extra time to calm down after the debacle on Saturday (combined with the time spent on my job search).  Fans and the Front Office can talk all they want about the new "Rapids Way" and how the team looks different and is playing better.  Until we can play a full 90 minutes without mental lapses, especially in Utah, this is the same old Rapids.

Other observations:

  • The first 20 minutes the Rapids controlled the game in a way I haven't seen at the start of a game in a long time.  It really looked like we were going to run FSL off the field.
  • A key, (almost the key) rule for goalkeepers is that if you come out you must get the ball.  Howard wasn't even close.  He made a poor choice and paid the price, along with the rest of the team.
  • In that first 20 minutes where we had almost total domination the Rapids had 6 shots, none on target.  FSL had 1, the one that led to the red card.  The rest of the game FSL outshot us 28-6 (and we still didn't get one on target).  Its great to dominate play, but if we can't turn it into scores its meaningless.
  • Up until the penalty you could easily argue that the Rapids were playing above expectation down a man more than FSL was up a man.  FSL looks bad right now and, to quote Dennis Green, we let them off the hook!
  • No idea what Tommie Smith was thinking on the PK.  A second stupid mental blunder.
  • Once the PK was conceded the gates opened.  Disappointing that the team couldn't see the game through.  Losing by 1 or 3 won't matter much for league standing but its critical for the Rocky Mountain Cup.
  • Quite frankly, we've already lost the RMC this season.  The only way for the Rapids to win it now is to go back to Utah in July and win and then win in Denver in August, or get a draw in Utah and win in Denver by 4 goals.  This team is clearly snakebit in Utah and will not win in July, and there's almost no chance we beat them by 4 goals at home (we've never beat FSL by 4).
  • I appreciate Hudson's attacking attitude, but I question the idea of going for the win in this one by subbing in Gashi and Boli instead of somebody like Azira or Serna.  On the road, in a rivalry match, down a man, play for the scoreless draw.
  • That said, this loss is completely on the players being unable to stay mentally focused, not on Hudson.
  • The Rapids have now dropped 6 points by giving up goals in the 82nd minute or later this season.  Obviously this game was a bit different than the prior ones but its still evidence that this team is not mentally strong.  That has to be fixed starting with Orlando on Sunday.
  • No Aigner, again.  We're up to 23 competitive matches with the club with 5 starts and 5 other appearances.  I think he's now solidly in the bust category.
  • Also its clear the injury report is meaningless.  The "official" report in the game preview did not include Mason or Miller but included Wilson.  The lineup report list released an hour before game-time with the eighteen man roster included Mason and Miller but not Wilson under the injured category.
  • Neither of them included Serna, who apparently had a knock as well.
Man of the Match: Zac MacMath.  Called off the bench due to Howard's blunder, immediately made a first save on the first kick of the ball, and came up big the rest of the way.  He shares some blame on the third goal for setting a bad wall but that was hardly the only mistake made by a Rapid on Saturday.

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