Sunday, June 29, 2008

One Mistake Is All It Takes

One mistake and it ended up costing us the game. The Colorado Rapids competed well with the Columbus Crew for the entirety of this match but where were the midfield and defense to stop Emmanuel Ekpo's marauding run in the 70th minute? The young Nigerian basically walked through the Rapids' back line and midfield before unleashing a powerful shot that Bouna Coundoul could only parry into the net. The goal turned out to be the winning one and all the Rapids' efforts at coming back into the game to equalize with Nick LaBrocca's 58th minute strike came to naught. We have now lost six of our seven away games, not a pretty statistic. Coach, Fernando Clavijo, talked in the week about how the Rapids have competed in every away game and they continued to do so here as well. But the fact remains that we have played seven and lost six on the road. We just can't seem to get it done away. There were positives, there usually are. John DiRaimondo had a far more effective game than against Houston, passing well and almost scoring halfway through the first half after a great ball from Pablo Mastroeni. Bouna was back though he seemed to be lacking in energy somewhat and you have to feel sorry for Preston Burpo who has done a good job while Bouna was away on national team duty. Terry Cooke got a full 90 in and produced some of his trademark crosses and passes. He did, however, perhaps fatally hesitate on one chance in the 32nd minute after Colin Clark produced a great run. But we lost and it is hard to see how the Rapids can dominate a game away from the confines of DSG Park. We need to turn it around pretty soon because no amount of spin can move us up from just above San Jose.

4 comments:

Joey said...

This team just can't seem to put it all together for the duration of a game. Sometimes it's poor offensive finishing, at other times it's bad touches and uncreative passing and build-up, and yet at other times it's defensive lapses in the last 20-30 minutes that kill them. Is this a player performance issue, or is this coaching? I don't know.

I'm liking the evolution of LaBrocca and DiRaimondo in the middle, and still optimistic about this team in the long run (maybe next year), but it's tough to know what to expect from the Rapids on any day because of their inconsistencies, and that's not a good sign when this season is already into summer.

I like McManus and the way Cummings has come on this year. Is Casey ever going to be 100% fit? Is Herculez Gomez totally washed up or what?

Nick Thomas said...

Joey, I don't know either if it is coaching or players. I respect Clavijo as a person and I hate to get on the bandwagon. I think some clubs, certainly in Europe, would have acted by now. But what are the alternatives? Does it make sense to make changes during the season?
I agree with you that this is a team in transition and that is great for the future. But it is hard to take in the present as a result.
Having talked to Herc a few times, he is desperately frustrated not to be playing more. I personally would like to see him given more of a chance.
Thanks as always for your constructive comments.

Joey said...

Nick:

Just saw an article by Ives Galarcep that labeled the Rafael Gomes debacle the worst signing of the season, in that some estimates put his transfer fee at $250,000 (for about 250 minutes of action).

Wondering whether your connections might enable you to question some Rapids staff on- or off-the-record to gauge whether that figure is accurate.

If it is accurate, it's yet another indication that the Rapids office is totally incompetent. First the Rapids give up a DP allocation, and now they pay a huge price for a player that contributed nothing. Plush and/or Clavijo need to be on the hot seat.

Nick Thomas said...

Joey, I have it off the record, and I think it is fairly obvious, that money does play a role in letting Gomes go. He was on one of the higher salaries of $120,000. I think there were some communication problems with him. It is hard for someone who speaks little English (and with nobody else speaking Portuguese) to readily fit into a midfield and defense which is constantly changing personnel. I wasn't able to get much on this today but I will read the Ives article and ask Clavijo or Plush the next time I see them. Thanks for the comment.