Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rapids Don't Exactly Ease Past Dallas

The Colorado Rapids eventually won this afternoon against FC Dallas by two goals to one but they made rather heavy weather of it. It really looked, at times, as if the Rapids would walk away with the game but poor defense at the end of the first half let the visitors back in and there were some uncomfortable moments in the second half when the defense seemed stretched and that Dallas would take advantage. But it wasn't to be. A win is a win and we are all happy about that.
Tom McManus cemented his position not only as a first choice striker but also as a fan favorite with another goal, his third of the season. He worked hard all day and he clearly has a nose for goal. Conor Casey scored a welcome comeback goal to open the scoring after so many months out injured. Plenty of plus points. Pablo Mastroeni looks back to his best and was instrumental in this victory. I'm not sure what Bill Bradley will think about him playing the whole 90 minutes as he is due to be in the national team squad for Wednesday's game against Spain. A long flight to follow this game. Can't seee him playing much in that game. Come to think of it, Rapids coach, Clavijo, is probably not too thrilled about him going all that way for probably not much action. Ugo Ihemelu and Facundo Erpen played very solidly at the back, Ihemelu, in particular, rescuing the Rapids several times with well-timed tackles. It was good to see Clavijo bring on Jordan Harvey after the Rapids went up 2-1 because his presence gave the defense a lot more solid look. I thought the new goalkeeper, Preston Burpo, also looked confident when he had to. The Rapids move on to play LA Galaxy away next weekend with a cup game in between.

6 comments:

BMer916 said...

i totally agree with your strong points, McManus is my fave Rapids players and Casey is up there. I still think Omar is way overrated, he had multiple chances and he wasn't even close, kicking one way over the goal. he's atheletic but doesn't have much skill. hopefully with Casey healthy it was keep Omar off the pitch til the last 10-15 minutes

Gomes was also pretty bad. several terrible clearances and he seemed to have a negative part in every FC Dallas chance, including the goal. he's need to make better decisions if he's going to play the central position of a 3-man defense!

Joey said...

I agree with Bmer about McManus (tough not to love his hustle and his amazing Scottish brogue), but I have to disagree with respect to Cummings and Gomes. Firstly, how can you call a young, inexperienced player still growing into his own "overrated"? Omar Cummings is not overrated, he's young. There is a difference. He's still developing the touch and the game to go with his natural athleticism. But criticizing a young player with great potential (who's earning less than Rapids players who have yet to contribute) and who is continually showing flash and improvement over last season as overrated is confusing and ridiculous. He hasn't been on the field long enough to be "overrated."

Secondly, Gomes may have had a couple miscues, including FCD's goal, but it was his searching long-ball that found McManus for the game-winner (and FCD's center back Davino had a game much more forgettable than Gomes). What was this, his first start? And wasn't he brought in originally as a defensive midfield option? It seems to me that he has size and skill, let's see how he'll be utilized when Petke et al return from injury. If the team can heal, perhaps Clavijo can begin to start a consistent backline.

Anyway, I was worried the Rapids were going to let Dallas escape with a draw, it was good to get a win after the Chivas game.

Koala said...

I have to agree a bit more with Joey. I think Gomes provided a lot more size and looked to be more comfortable and played more in position than Kimura does when he is assigned to the 3 defender formation. Personally, I think Gomes should get more time at center midfield, whether it be at defensive or where LaBrocca has been playing. I think his size and general skills on the ball are impressive, and once we get Petke back I think we'll have a backlog at center back. For his first start, I was impressed, despite having a couple bad clears.

I think Clavijo tagged it best in respect to Omar when saying that he needs to stop playing like he's all alone up top. He definately isn't the target forward that Conor Casey is (and man, how pretty did that look in the first half...I'm glad to have him back) and tries to do too much by himself. On most of Omar's shots and chances, someone else is open near him for a much easier shot on goal. Hopefully once he gets more comfortable with the guys around him we may see even more improved play from him. But Joey is right, he needs more time before we can really say he's overrated, underrated, misused, or whatever the case may be.

My man Ugo is a beast. Ever since I saw his sliding tackle on Landon Donovan last year in the game versus LA, he's been far and away my favorite player. Despite his hiccup in the Houston game at the end, he's one of the most solid and consistent players on the Rapids, and it's good to see him fully recovered from injury.

I think with Casey being back, McManus being....well, McManus, and the team seeming to find Gomez up top a lot more than they did in the first few games of the season, we are shaping up to have a very formidable team this season.

Nick Thomas said...

Thanks for your comments guys. If you have seen Clavijo's recent comments on his stikers, it does not look as if Cummings will be starting much. Casey and McManus are clearly the preferred duo. That's not necessarily terrible for Cummings. He is an inexperienced player and obviously has a lot to learn at this level.

BMer916 said...

maybe i'm too harsh on Cummings, but my issue is his shots, they're not even close. at least hit the frame of the goal, he seems to spoil a lot of chances.

i like the idea of him coming off the bench, especially for Casey. this sucks fro Herc, he's never gonna see time and i like him a lot as well.

Nick Thomas said...

But I think that Herculez Gomez is a much more versatile player than Cummings and will get chances elsewhere, i.e as more of a winger/midfielder to replace the likes of Clark or Cooke. Please see my latest post on probable line-up for this weekend. It looks to me as if Herc is out for a while.