Monday, June 5, 2023

Rapids Outplay San Jose, Can't Score

So the Rapids had a chance to finally get a win on Saturday night, but their inability to score once again cost them points.

Lets get this out of the way first.  Yes, both of Bombito's yellow cards were soft and I don't think most refs would have given two cards to the same player of those fouls.  No they weren't technically wrong.  Also no, the red card didn't cost us the game.  You know how I know that?  Because even being down a man for 39+ minutes we didn't give up a shot on goal to San Jose, and while down a man we got a PK call that we didn't convert.  That's about as good of a job as you can do at winning the game without actually winning the game.  Bombito being on the field wouldn't change that.

The Rapids have had 3 penalty kicks this season, and 2 of them have been saved Rubio vs. Vancouver and Ronan on Saturday).  Both the saved kicks were somewhat similar, weaker kicks to the keepers left but not far to the left.  Ronan's made PK against Philly we better hit to the keeper's right.  For a team that's only scored 14 goals all season you can't throw away goals and points by not having a confident penalty taker.

Outside of the PK the Rapids got 4 shots on goal, for a total of 0.9 xG.  San Jose had 0 shots on goal but still managed a 0.8 xG.  Cole Bassett did the heavy lifting this week, being the only player (other than Ronan's PK) to put up an xG of 0.1 or better.  Million-dollar Cabral had a 0.0 xG.  What, exactly, is he adding to this team?  The rest of the game was exactly what you would expect from a Rapids game this year.

We're now at the midpoint of the season and we're on track for 26 points and 28 goals.  Only twice has Colorado ever finished under 30 points, in 1996 (where draws weren't possible and the Shootout made everything W/L) they finished with 29 points in 32 games and in 2001 they finished with 23 points.  2001 was shortened by the 9/11 attacks and Colorado only played 26 games that year.  In both cases their PPG would have carried them to 30 points or more in a 34 game year, like 2023 is.  This is the worst first-half the Rapids have ever had (in 2015 we wouldn't get our third win until game 18, but we had 9 draws in the first half putting us at 15 points).  The generous Bodmer Line is now at 1.65 PPG, more realistically its at 1.8 or better.  Only twice (2016 & 2021) have we played a full season above 1.65 PPG, never above 1.8.

If the Front Office wanted to do any sort of damage control this would be the week to do it.  The team is at the halfway point, they have a full week off for the first time in 6 weeks, and any negative news is going to get buried by the Nuggets NBA Finals games.  But we all know that's not the MO of the the club, despite their calls for transparency and accountability in the infamous "Rapids Way" editorial.

Man of the Match: Andres Maxsø. No shots on goal?  Had to be a defender and the Dane had a good game.

Friday, June 2, 2023

One More Unto the Breech

Tomorrow night's match against San Jose is the last one before we finally get a full week of rest, can the Rapids summon up one last bit of reserve and find a win after so many losses?  Its going to be tough against a much healthier Earthquakes side that broke its road winless streak on Wednesday in Seattle.  Kickoff as always is at 7:30 and its looking like it will be wet for this one.  The announcers tomorrow night are Mark Rogondino and Heath Pearce in English and Oscar Salazar and Maximiliano Cordaro in Spanish.

Availability Report:
OUT: GK Abe Rodriguez (lower body injury, formerly ankle), M Max (unavailable), F Darren Yapi (U-20 World Cup), F Diego Rubio (upper body injury, formerly ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: Braian Galvan (lower body injury), M Ralph Priso (lower body injury), F Michael Barrios (lower body injury)

We get Cabral back from suspension but otherwise no change on the availability front.

Again I'm just trying to put a lineup together of 11 players who aren't hurt or unavailable.  Given work load issues I could have 10 or 5 of these guys right come tomorrow night.

Prediction: 1-1 draw goal by Rosenberry.  This feels a bit optimistic but one game does not make San Jose a good road team.  I don't seeing this beat up, tired, demoralized Rapids squad pulling out a win to finish the first half of the season, but they can get a point.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Rapids Now Lead The Chase For The Wooden Spoon

Another night, another loss.  There was some hope early with good work by Nicholson but in the end the Crew had more talent and got the three points.  As expected the inability to possess the ball and be dangerous allowed Columbus to just send wave after wave of attacks at us (17 shots) and eventually we broke, multiple times.

To be fair, Colorado's offense looked better than expected early.  The Crew controlled the game but kept making mistake after mistake to give the Rapids chances and Lewis and Nicholson were there to try to take advantage, but only Sam's early goal actually broke through.  Columbus' center backs were quite poor all night but Colorado once again couldn't convert.  They got a second with the final kick of the game by Bassett, one that will easily be up for Goal of the Week, but it was too little too late.

Now we move on to hosting San Jose, who just got their first road win in almost a year in Seattle last night.  Our Bodmer Line is now higher than our season results every year other than 2016 and 2021.  After the San Jose game we'll be at the midpoint of the season, and anything short of a win means we'll have our lowest point total at the halfway point.  Its just not getting any better.

Man of the Match: Sam Nicholson, not just for the goal but his overall play was better than we've seen in a long time from him.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Rapids Hope To Break Losing Streak Against The Crew

This unending series of games continues with another midweek tilt.  This time Colorado heats east to Columbus to face a Crew ide that are technically not a playoff team (due to a tiebreaker), making it one of only two non-playoff teams the Rapids have faced during this run.  The other was FSL, and well, we saw how that went.  Kickoff tomorrow is at 5:30pm MT.  The English announcers are Chris Wittyngham and Jamie Watson, the Spanish announcers are Sergio Ruiz and Miguel Gallardo.

Availability Report:
OUT: GK Abe Rodriguez (lower body injury, formerly ankle), M Max (unavailable), F Kevin Cabral (yellow card accumulation), F Darren Yapi (U-20 World Cup), F Diego Rubio (upper body injury, formerly ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: Braian Galvan (lower body injury), M Ralph Priso (lower body injury), F Michael Barrios (lower body injury)

So we got Bassett off the injury report and Nicholson and Acosta back from suspension, but Cabral takes this game off due to yellow card accumulation.  But fear not, Cabral will be available.  His twin brother Remi has been called up from Rapids 2 along with Vargas (for his fourth and final time).  Who plays forward with no Cabral, Yapi, or Rubio?  Beats me.

Yeah, I'm just throwing darts at this point.  With the work load and the injuries just getting 11 players on MLS contracts to start is a challenge.  I won't expect to be anywhere close with my lineup.

Prediction: 2-1 loss, goal by Wilson.  Columbus has one of the better offenses in the league but their defense is questionable.  Wilson gets his head on a Ronan corner to score, but we can't possess the ball and the waves of attacks are too much to deal with, leading us to another loss.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Rapids Lose, Again

Of course Badji would get his first goal since leaving the Rapids a season and a half ago when he was back at DSG.  And of course it would be in a 1-0 game.  Because that's exactly who the Rapids are at this point.  5 game losing streak.  Outscored 11-3.  xG all under 1.4.  We can't score goals so as soon as we give up 1 its all but over.  That's who the Rapids are, there's no hiding from it.

In Saturday's game it took a bad turnover from Rosenberry and Ronan failing to make a play (to be fair, it would have been a really good stop had he pulled it off) to leave our defense at 6's and 7's.  Cinci took advantage and it was 1-0.  But that happens.  What's worse is that the only two players with an xG over 0.1 were a rookie centerback (Bombito, 0.43) and a Rapids 2 winger on short term callup (Hanya, 0.15).  Oh, and neither one of those two got into the game until halftime.  Cabral, our $1.8 million player?  0.07.  Lewis? 0.03.  Ronan? 0.04.  Just not good enough.

Hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel right now.  We've got Columbus on the road on Wednesday, an greatly improved San Jose team at home on Saturday, then finally a whole week without a game before we take a long road trip to Orlando.  After that we get 10 days off and then a Wed.-Sat. with Vancouver and the Galaxy at home.  That might be a place where we could pick up a couple of wins but by then it will be too late.  The Bodmer Line is already over 1.5 now and as I said after the Open Cup loss, that number seems soft.

Man of the Match: Moise Bombito.  Easy pick when your CB is your best attacker.