Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Bad Day at The Office as Seniors Go AWOL

Colorado Rapids' coach, Fernando Clavijo, said he had fully expected the youngsters to crash in a game eventually after such a successful start to the season. He just didn't expect his senior players to all crash at the same time in the same game. Coach Clavijo told me after the Reserves game this morning that yesterday's defeat to San Jose was a bad day at the office. He said that the senior players didn't really show up and that is what disappointed him the most. It is hard to disagree with him when you look at the performances of the likes of Cooke, Burciaga and Christian Gomez who struggled, despite some good passes, to find any rhythm. What I would say is that Clavijo said all this not with a sense of despair. You get the sense he has the confidence in the players this season that they will bounce back and play a lot better next time. Maybe it was just one of those games. A banana skin against an expansion team. Just as just about everyone got carried away with the thumping of the Galaxy on opening day, maybe we should not read too much into this setback.
The Reserves drew with San Jose Reserves 1-1 on a beautiful morning at DSG Park. There were more chances in a few minutes in this game than all of last night. The Rapids largely dominated the match only to let in an equalizer against the run of play late in the game. Kelly Gray, who impressed defensively throughout (if he stays fit this week and continues his good form, he looks likely to get game time next week against Chicago), scored the Rapids' goal. San Jose scored from a very well taken free kick which goalkeeper, Chris Sharpe, told me afterwards he only saw very late. Not surprising. I was standing behind the goal at the time the shot was taken and it was in the net, round a wall, in approximately 0.2 seconds. It makes you wonder how they ever make any saves. Other important items of note included Pablo Mastroeni playing 60 minutes of this game and he looked sharp and hungry. He told me afterwards that this was the first 60 he had played since last season and this game had given him the butterflies this morning. Good to know he has the fire in him. No doubt about that (he got booked in the 11th minute to prove that!). Looks likely he could be starting, subject to fitness, next week. John DiRaimondo, who went off at the end of the first half last night, is out for a few weeks with an ankle injury. There was also game time for some of the substitutes last night including Herculez Gomez, Tom McManus and Rafael Gomes.


Jason said...

Great stuff. I appreciate the insight from the players/coach after the previous match. It is also good to hear about the reserve match that sometimes gets overlooked. I had no idea that some 1st team players saw action in these games besides recovery from injury. Keep up the good work, Nick!

Nick Thomas said...

Thanks for your input Jason. It was indeed a pretty good reserve team they put out against San Jose. If you can't get to the Rapids games, the reserves are a pretty good option. Free and very low key and lots of good skills.