Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rapids Tie It Up Down Texas Way

The facts of this game? The Colorado Rapids managed a 2-2 draw, again showing that this is not a team that gives up easily, having gone down 2-1. In so doing, the Rapids extended their unbeaten run to three games in the MLS. The truth is that our attacking play was so much better than that of FC Dallas that we should have won this game. Unfortunately, some defensive errors let the Texans back into the game, which was eventually saved by a Conor Casey header with 20 minutes to go.
The start was inspired. Coach, Fernando Clavijo, deserves much credit for starting Herculez Gomez who scored twice for the Reserves last weekend. And the choice paid off handsomely, Gomez netting after just five minutes after some slick passing saw Mehdi Ballouchy slip a gorgeous pass over the back of the Dallas defense. Herc did the rest. Ballouchy is relishing this run in the starting XI. Altitude TV gave Herc the Man of the Match but, for me, Ballouchy was excellent. His passing and creativity were really top notch and his presence was far greater than that of fellow playmaker Christian Gomez who, admittedly, made a superb cross for Casey's equalizer. Ballouchy was also not shy at getting stuck in in the physicality of the midfield battles.
The defensive errors occurred in the second half and let Dallas back in and saw us in danger of losing. I'd have to see the action again but the penalty decision for the first goal looked harsh, to put it politely. Maybe Bouna did come too far out for the second goal but he did make up for it towards the death when he saved brilliantly from a Juna Toja scorcher from just outside the box. A few more nervous moments as Dallas scored a disallowed goal for a clear offside. Never fearing to lose, the Rapids eventually played out the remaining few minutes for a tough, well-earned draw. Now, three games at home on the trot. A time to turn this season around following the mini-momentum gained from two draws and a win in the last three games.


teddy g, brewer's vet said...

Sir Tim,

Leaving this game's defensive and rare blunders ala star Bouna C., do you feel there is an Obama-like hope in our Rapids attacking play, as it has developed in 2008, which could support our winning through playoff games this post season?

Teddy G, Brewer's Vet

Scott said...

Is it a lack of organization or personnel making mistakes? It frustrates me that after so many good defensive seasons we have turned the problem from offense to defense. I am wondering if the three man back line has anything to do with it or if we really cannot play with too many midfielders who fail to get back on defense.

BMer916 said...

this was easily Bouna's worst game, but to add to it, Pablo was pretty bad. he made some terrible passing decisions that quickly put Dallas on the counter.

Love seeing Herc score, i've always liked him. I was surprised that Casey was left in for so long, he still doesn't look gamefit and seems to be slow getting in to position to receive balls.

Nick Thomas said...

Thanks for all your comments. I agree that it is very frustrating to see all the good attacking play eventually come to naught (or not as much as it could anyway) given the poor defense. With three home games coming up, it is hard to see that the formation would change. Clavijo will surely be more attacking at home. So, I would see few changes at the back. It was interesting to see Petke on the bench at the weekend. So, maybe he may come in and Pablo move back to a defensive midfield position? But then who do you leave out? Sacrilege aside, it has entered my mind that Burpo could come in for Bouna. Bouna, apart from a great save against New York and some good shotstopping in the other games, has not looked at his best since his return from Senegal and Burpo really did few things wrong in his absence. I doubt it but you never know. I would see Clavijo giving Bouna another chance against the Crew and then seeing how things look.
The striker situation looks very interesting too. I am also delighted that Herc scored a goal and looked ver sharp. He has done everything he can to be included in this team and looks as sharp as anyone else. I'm made up for him as they say down Everton way.

Joey said...

Perhaps the PK decision allowing Dallas its first goal was harsh, but those are the kind of things that can happen after a defensive mistake within the box (like the PK call against Onyewu in the Ghana game during the World Cup after a mistake on a header by Bocanegra). Bouna looked out of position a couple of times, but at least he doesn't wear capri pants like Burpo. Burpo looks like a teenaged New Jersey girl at the shore with those horrendous things. Good to see Herc and Mehdi coming on, they've worked to put themselves in a starting position.

Nick Thomas said...

Joey, I don't think I will be able to look at Burpo in training without thinking about his pants now. But I will be too terrified to say anything to him because he is one intimidating guy. If strength and force of character were the only quality needed to be in the starting XI, he would be the coach's first choice. I agree on Mehdi and Herc. They are both playing very well and deserve a run.

George said...

mehdi's pass to Herc was sweet, but Serioux stabbed at the ball and completely missed it. what a blunder. so does one blame Serioux for the mistake or credit ballouchy for the pass? it probably depends on whom you ask: a rapids fan or a hoops fan. i'll chalk it up to mehdi being very involved and rising to the responsibility he's been given.

and thank you, nick, for all that you're doing this season. your blog is a great addition to the coverage the rapids receive in our area. you often beat the denver daily newspapers with your coverage. and your presence at the practice pitch is an asset to all rapids fans!
george tanner
FC Rocky