Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rapids Fail to Capitalize; Ref Can't Make Up Mind

This game turned on the ridiculous "red card that wasn't" decision. If this guy does not get hauled across the coals for his terrible refereeing, there is no justice. For what it's worth, the original "foul" was pretty clearly not a red card. But to go back on that decision, whether it was the right one or not, is just about the lamest thing I have seen on a soccer field for a while. The momentum changed abruptly, the wind went out of the Rapids' sails and it was almost inevitable that the LA Galaxy would snatch an equalizer. However, you can't really blame the decision on the fact that the Rapids failed to put this game away when they should have done. After a lifeless first half in which the energy levels of the team were very low, things started to turn in Colorado's favor in the opening 20 minutes of the second half which included a well taken goal from Colin Clark. The Rapids then needed to make the game safe but they failed to do so. The referee suffered an attack of extreme weakness, the life was sucked out of the Rapids' game and Landon Donovan netted a valuable equalizer for the visitors.
Red card or not, the Rapids still seemed to lack consistent creativity in the game. Terry Cooke, getting his first start of the season in his one hundredth game for the Rapids, created some good stuff on the flanks and Clark made some good runs but there wasn't a whole lot else. Mehdi Ballouchy is working very hard for this team but he can't seem to provide the offensive spark it needs. Sometimes last night, he was picking up the ball and doing what Pablo Mastroeni does in bringing the ball out of the defense. It wasn't necessarily his fault but it isn't really what he should be doing.
There is clearly a lot of work to do before next week's game against Real Salt Lake who somewhat soundly thrashed New England with six second half goals yesterday. I guess we can be thankful we are playing them at DSG Park and not in Sandy, Utah, where they have also rolled over the Columbus Crew this season.


Anonymous said...

What was it about that opening 20 minutes of the second half? I said to Mark at one point that we had just seen the best 10 minutes of Rapids soccer we have seen all season. You're right though, that red-card-then-nothing took all the fire out the boys.

My big question on that is, how does it go from a red card to nothing and a Gal's goal kick?? Seems it should at least be a drop ball if not Rapids posession. But I'll readily admit I'm no expert.

johncos said...

I rushed home to figure out what was with the phantom Red Card. Josh, you are exactly right... if it wasn't a foul it was a back pass. The keeper scooped it up right after the tackle. If the galaxy player got the ball isn't that played to the keeper?

Nick Thomas said...

You're both right. It should either have been a drop kick or a Rapids' free kick if the ball was judged by the ref to have been deliberately played back by the LA defender. But then that would have meant the ref showing some judgement, something he was seemingly incapable of. I suppose the ref could argue that, if he took the foul back, the ball was then picked up by the LA goalie and, if it wasn't a deliberate pass back, it was an LA ball.
I'm a bit worried about Salt Lake but who knows in this league? Maybe we'll steamroller them 6-0.

Aljarov a.k.a Al Clark said...

I was pleased he corrected the call. He got the next part wrong, but given the spat of horror calls in MLS of late - game changing ones like in Columbus and Toronto - although it hurt the Rapids momentum, it was still right that it was reversed. It was a win for common sense.

Jason Maxwell said...

Guys, I'm pretty sure he did start it with a drop ball. I remember the ref dropping it at teh feet of the keeper, who booted it up the field. It may have looked like a goal kic though.

Prus did everything right except for talking to his aR after he showed the red instead of before, and then not making it obvious that he was waving off the red. But officials have the ability to overturn cards they've given if play hasn't restarted. They got the call right, eventually.