Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rapids Cruise Past Galaxy

It was just like opening day last season when we stuffed the LA Galaxy 4-0. The Colorado Rapids went to LA today and put five goals past the unfortunate Beckham-less Galaxy who responded with two goals of their own. Today's game had even more of a ring of that opening game last year because Terry Cooke got on the scoresheet just as he did in 2008 for the only time last season. Mehdi Ballouchy, Conor Casey and Omar Cummings (twice) also netted. "It was very pleasing to hit the back of the net five times," said Gary Smith, head coach, speaking from LA. More importantly, Smith said the starting XI today was close to what we can expect come opening day against Chivas, March 21. The XI that started: Burpo in goal, a back four of Kimura, Ihemelu, Gibbs and Harvey, a midfield of Petersen, Mastroeni, Ballouchy and Clark with Casey and Cummings upfront. After about an hour, the entire back four was changed to Wawa, Dalby, Holody and Guerrero with Cooke and LaBrocca coming into the midfield and new boy Richardson taking a turn upfront. "He's not been here that long and he has a lot going on in his life," said Smith of Gregory Richardson, aka Jackie Chan. The Guyanese may have to do some strength and conditioning to make himself ready for the rigors of MLS. "There's not much of him - he seems like a decent lad," Smith said.
Whether Richardson will make the team as another striking option remains to be seen. Smith said he is still looking at one unidentified striker to come in before the season starts. That could leave Richardson's status with the team up in the air though Smith said that some established players could also make way for more forward options and to help keep some of the draft players on board.
Some of those more established players did leave some room for younger draft players Monday when they were waived by the club. Justin Hughes, Cesar Zambrano and Kwame Sarkodie are no longer Rapids players. Smith said that Hughes has attracted interest from a USL-1 team and that he could also likely get on the Real Maryland squad. Zambrano is being courted by sister club Maryland while Sarkodie is using the links between assistant coach, Steve Guppy, and the Rochester Rhinos to pursue dreams there.


johncos said...

We sat in front of you at that Galaxy game last year. I remember jotting down "wewantrapidman" on a beer receipt so I wouldn't forget to check out your blog. I've been a regular reader since!

Still one more forward to come in before the start of the season? Did I read that right? Where and how do we pick someone up at this point? Someone cut from another MLS club as they make room i suppose. Do you figure Erpen and Burciaga will find MLS clubs? Maybe LA can use them. Have you heard anything about Bouna? Has he found a club?

Nick Thomas said...

John, I remember the Galaxy game well. I had been covering it in the press box, my first game doing so, and then I came down at the end to meet my family. Glad we were able to meet. I checked out your photographs by the way and they look really good.
I think Smith wants this forward pretty badly. I have a strong hunch that it is Jason Euell from England. I'll try and confirm that as I aim to go up to training next week if possible. They are still very light upfront - not sure the release of McManus is looking all that good an idea right now. Richardson is untested at this level and then they have two draft picks as forwards. I really wouldn't be surprised to see a fairly major name (DiRaimondo, Colaluca, Keel??) cut from the roster if they do land the forward. They will still need some more backup upfront even with such a signing. I don't know about Erpen and Burciaga. I did try and contact Bouna and I have heard from his agent but no details as yet. I don't think it's looking all that great for him. They had the Rapids's GK coach on From The Pitch today and there was no mention of Bouna. People's memories can be short. Keep reading and commenting and please do spread the word about my blog to any of your soccer friends. Thanks John, hope to see you at the games, Nick.

Scott said...

Good to hear that some of the guys who were cut are going to get their chances elsewhere. Keep us posted on those happenings.

johncos said...

Thanks for the kind words about my photos... I'm faltered.

How does the "transfer-window" work? Can Euell come before the start of the season or would it have to wait until June?

Two weeks 'til opening day!!!

Nick Thomas said...

That's a good point on Euell. He may have to wait until the end of the English season, i.e June. I'm not sure what the regulations are regarding a transfer to another country but, in all likelihood, practicality says it would probably be June. I think Smith will do something else in next week or so regarding a forward. I do think he will the release one of the more established fringe midfielders or defenders to make room for that. I think you mean flattered on the photos, not faltered.

johncos said...

Indeed. Flattery has turned to embarrassment. I've always been better with pictures than words. :)

I am relieved to hear that we don't seem to be waiting until june to try to get some depth up-front. Euell seems like a guy who could be successful here, but June is a long way away and with all those road games this spring, and the history of injuries some of our key players have, things could be dire by then.