Sunday, September 21, 2008

Resolution Against The Revolution

The Colorado Rapids grinded this one out against one of the league's top teams and were unlucky in the end to only get a 1-1 draw. With Chivas beating Salt Lake, the Rapids are now third in the Western Conference with just five games to go. Gary Smith, head coach, now has one of the nine points he said he wanted from six games but this conference remains so tight, especially with Dallas' surprise victory over Chicago, that it looks impossible to predict what will happen. All the Rapids can do is play tough, especially on the road, and try and maintain the self-belief that has begun to creep into their play.
In reality, this was not a great game to watch. The Rapids didn't really create enough good chances and had to rely on assist God, Terry Cooke, for another serve it up on a plate cross, this time for Colin Clark to head one in. Cooke is playing extremely well right now after the abyss he found himself in earlier this season. Former coach, Fernando Clavijo, was not a big fan of Cooke's defensive prowess but he was all over the field last night, tackling back consistently, including right at the death when New England threatened to snatch it.
Other than that, the defense once again proved to be very solid and that back four with Burpo in goal looks set to remain unchanged. It really is a nice balance. The experience and pedigree of Mike Petke and Cory Gibbs coupled with the exciting attacking play of Kosuke Kimura and Jordan Harvey on the outside. Kimura does make a few mistakes but he is a young player with a great future and he gives it everything.
The Rapids move on to Giants' Stadium to play New York next Saturday.


Doc said...

"In reality, this was not a great game to watch. The Rapids didn't really create enough good chances"

So, what is this in comparison to? Are you saying this team is just as bad as it was with Clavijo at the helm? Or just as exciting?

I think the team has a new found passion. They seemed to have come together as a team and it shows on the pitch.

That game you could feel their energy and for the most part I was on the edge of my seat, because it felt for the first time we could strike at any time.

I am not trying to say that you are wrong or anything Nick, I just felt a little different about this game. Keep up the good work.

Nick Thomas said...

Doc, I'm not comparing it with the Clavijo era. I just think that they didn't play as well as they did in the Chicago game, for example, where more chances were created. I agree that they seem to be playing with more self-belief and passion. It's good that fans are on the edge of their seats. This is what we need.

Scott said...

I lost my voice yelling at the ref in this game, and even after reading the refs excuse in the newspaper I am not happy about the way this game ended.

In general I thought New England played a lot better in the mid field than Chicago did which was really the difference in this game. Kimura had his hands full with Khano and I do not think that he necessarily played any worse, he is just going to struggle against players who are a foot taller and 50 plus pounds heavier.

I still thought the Rapids had the best chances but this ref was by far the worst I have seen in MLS, not to mention his side judge who was not that great either. I hate to blame refs becasue Colorado still missed several chances that they should have put away. Still I lost my voice yelling at the ref and was frustrated to the point of having trouble sleeping that night. Grr.

Nick Thomas said...

Scott, good to see you were so passionate though I am sorry you lost some sleep. I don't think there is anything to say the ref cannot blow the final whistle during play (rather than wait for the ball to go out of bounds for example) and there is precedent for this. I remember a World Cup game back in the 80s involving Brazil when I think it was Brazil who scored only for the ref to say he had blown his whistle nanoseconds before the ball was turned in. Maybe the rule needs to be changed. In rugby union, for example, the full time whistle cannot be blown until the ball is dead even if all the time has been used up. I do think the overall standard of refereeing in the MLS is still poor.

johncos said...

I too was on the edge of my seat for most of the game. Despite the fact that there were fewer chances in the end it was exciting because there seemed to be so much more creativity. I looked up to see Colin and Terry making diagonal runs instead of just down the wing. We also seemed to have a ton more overlap with the outside backs than we have seen in the past... that made it exciting!
I have to admit I am a big fan of Shalrie Joseph. It sure was more fun to watch him play than Blanco!