Saturday, April 5, 2008

Rapids Fall to Late Kansas Winner

I was just thinking about writing how as important it would be for the Rapids to get a great draw on the road as it was to stuff the Galaxy last week when up pops the Wizards substitute and scores the winner in the 86th. Very disappointing, especially after we had fought back from 2-0 down to tie the game. But don't despair and, most importantly, don't get down on the team after the euphoria of last weekend. Most people overreacted to the victory last weekend and this was a very tough game against a team that beat DC United last week. Not wanting to sound like a football manager but I do believe there were a lot of positives to come out of this game. Coach Clavijo fielded an unchanged starting line-up which was very encouraging for all those young players who played their socks off last week. And they played very well again this time around. Stephen Keel would probably admit to a couple of defensive errors which somewhat gifted the Wizards their 2-0 lead but he also pulled off a near miraculous goal line save and generally played very well. Nobody is going to blame him for our defeat. Kimura distributed the ball excellently and I think Erpen is relishing the fact that he is currently the senior figure in that backline. Burciaga scored the first Rapids goal and Bouna was immense in goal as usual. There wasn't really a lot he could do with the three goals and he saved at least two others. There, that's the defense. In midfield, LaBrocca and DiRaimondo were excellent (can anyone tell those two guys apart? - the Altitude TV commentator certainly couldn't but, then again, he actually couldn't tell most of the players apart.) They both worked tirelessly and LaBrocca looks very good in possession. DiRaimondo also scored the equalizing goal. I thought Herculez Gomez played very well when he came on as a sub for Clark. It's going to be hard to know how to fit all these players in when the injuries die down. Clark, Cooke and Christian Gomez are almost certain starters in midfield which doesn't give much room for the likes of Rafael Gomes, Kirovski, Colaluca etc. We'll have to see. I liked seeing Mastroeni back. He came on in the 63rd to replace LaBrocca and looked very reassuring. A final word on Omar Cummings who hustled all day and almost nicked it at the death. He might get a bit lonely up there all on his own, though, and I think it helped to have Herculez Gomez supporting him in the last half-hour.
It will be a disappointing trip back to DSG Park for the Rapids but not as long as the Class VI boys and girls who will be slumping back into their coach for the long ride home. Very encouraging to hear them shouting Bouna's name when he saved an almost certain goal in the first half. So, in conclusion, we lost the game because of some defensive errors but the team played well and looked very up for it. A minor setback on the road to MLS glory.

4 comments:

Joey said...

The Rapids showed some heart to get themselves back in the game, so their effort is encouraging. Bad luck on a couple of KC's goals. However, I'm not sure what I think about leaving Cummings up top by himself; he needs some support. While there were some nice plays on counter-attack, on several crosses there was really nobody inside to receive the ball. I'm impressed by some of the short passing by LaBrocca and DiRaimondo inside, and Cooke and Clark show some aggressiveness on the wing, I'd just hope that Cummings can receive more support in the offensive third of the field.

I'm getting increasingly lukewarm on Mastroeni. Looked to me like he absolutely let the KC player get by him on their third goal, and just pointed at Keel or somebody to pick him up. He can distribute the ball pretty well, and can still win it, but he's getting slower and slower.

Brennan said...

Not having seen the game, it sounds like a less than stellar midfield/offensive game, combined with some defensive errors led to tonight's loss. These are fundamental more than strategic mistakes, which is encouraging. You'd rather see these early in a season. I must agree with Nick in saying that this is a minor setback considering the performance that we've seen from this team. Better fundamentals all around will increase offensive production while decreasing defensive charity.

johncos said...

It was a frustrating loss considering that late goal, but I agree that we have a lot positives to take out of this game. Did we ever score two goals in the second half of any games last year? Omar looked like he was frustrated by the small pitch. It seemed like he kept running out of room. I agree with Joey that Pablo didn't look especially sharp yesterday, but I am very willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Keel, Kimura, LaBrocca and DiRaimondo have all been playing together for a while so Pablo's lack of training with the team and his obviously different style of play than that of LaBrocca makes the lack of fluid play, and apparent poor communication, more acceptable... for now:)

Nick Thomas said...

Thanks for the intelligent comments guys. Keep them coming. We were all concerned about the lack of goals from last season but six in two games is not a bad start, especially as we play with only one guy officially up front.