Monday, June 16, 2008

It's Not The Fear, it's the Finishing

The way the Colorado Rapids started this game, they certainly looked as if there was no fear. There was energy, purpose and some very clear chances in the opening ten minutes or so. Jacob Peterson, for example, had a glorious chance in the opening three minutes but was only able to offer a weak shot straight into the keeper's arms. However, the opening burst could not be sustained and the Rapids descended into some rather frantic play where they were barely able to keep possession of the ball for anything longer than a few passes. Toronto took advantage and eventually ran away with the game with some top-class finishing. And it was precisely the finishing where we lost the game. The Rapids were simply unable to finish. This was typified by a stretch of play in the 57th and 58th minutes when the game was decided. Tom McManus, captain for the day, put in a perfect through ball to Omar Cummings after some great build-up by Christian Gomez and Nick LaBrocca. Cummings, overly anxious, tried to hit the ball first time when he had all the time in the world to look up, maybe round the keeper and score. Instead, the keeper cleared with a long ball and a great shot by Rohan Ricketts made it 2-0 to Toronto. Game over. Christian Gomez got one back for the Rapids with a nice free-kick but we were already 3-0 down by then.
It was an interesting line-up with an enforced new-look defense including a first MLS start for Cesar Zambrano. What was even more surprising was that playmaker Christian Gomez did not start. There will obviously need to be some changes for the Houston game. Because of international call-ups, there will still be no Mastroeni (injured in the US thrashing of Barbados yesterday), Ihemelu or Coundoul. Herculez Gomez and Terry Cooke, unused in the Toronto game, are making obvious cases for reinclusion. The Rapids play Houston at DSG Park June 21.

2 comments:

Joey said...

It was a pretty dissatisfying match. Cummings had an open breakaway with ample time to look around, settle the ball, and place a nice shot. That was irritating, but Cummings is still developing in MLS. Jacob Peterson's terribly taken opportunity distresses me more, because with his longer experience starting and playing in MLS he should be able to put that away.

I don't know what Burpo was thinking on TFC's first goal, it was a nightmare. The Rapids could easily get that kind of performance from a bench GK without trading for one.

Zambrano looked pretty strong, and except for a few nervous moments and confusion involving Burpo he did well. What is Clavijo thinking not starting Christian Gomez?

Nick Thomas said...

Joey. I agree with you on Zambrano though some say he was at fault for one of the goals. I thought he did well, strong player. I'll be sure to ask Clavijo about Gomez this week. It certainly was a surprising decision.