game review

Colorado Rapids

Rapids Lose Heads, and Points, Again

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Once again the Rapids lost focus for 15 minutes of the game. Once again this cost them points. Once again we're talking about the mental fortitude of this team. This week the "lose our focus" minutes were the 60th through the 75th where we picked up 4 (count them, 4!) yellow cards and gave up the winning PK.

B Team Rapids Handle B Team TFC

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The Rapids did what they were supposed to do and beat a weakened TFC side on Saturday. A number of people are discrediting the win because we were facing TFC's B team while they rested for the CCL. Its true, they didn't have many regular starters (other than Drew Moor!) but many of these analysts are ignoring what the Rapids were missing, upwards of 7 starters weren't in the starting XI.

Rapids Drop Points At The End...Again

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For the third game (out of four) this season the Rapids dropped points by conceding a goal in the 89th minute or later. Colorado has now dropped as many points this way as they've gained this season, 5. Its an unacceptable pattern. Seeing it happen 3 times during a season would be border line unacceptable, to see it in 75% of a team's games is atrocious.

Not Dead Yet!

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Sorry for going AWOL on opening weekend. I picked up whatever bug was going around and it hit me Saturday night. Today is the first time I managed to focus enough to write. I assume everyone's seen the game and/or recaps by now so I won't spend much time reviewing the details. Instead just some observations I had on the game:

  • We need a real striker like now (more on that later tonight/tomorrow)
  • This new system looks a lot like the old system after one game.

Colorado Offense As Frozen As The Fans

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Wow, that was cold. An official kickoff temperature of 3 degrees set a new MLS record, one that won't be broken any time soon.

As we expected from the pre-game comments the Rapids treated this like a preseason plus game while TFC came in looking to make this the first step on their run to the CCL title.

Well, That Was A Season

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That's all it was though, a season, and it finished in an appropriate way. The Rapids were a man up for 38 minutes, got a PK call in their favor, and still came out with no goals and less shots on target than the Sounders had goals. Pretty much par for the course for a season where Colorado finished last in the league in goals, shots on goal, and shots (but oddly, not assists).

Rapids Finish Off Home Season By Almost Ending FSL's

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Well, that was a nice way to end a bad season. A 4th minute goal by Josh Gatt (with a great celebration in front of the visiting FSL fans) somehow held up under a barrage of shots from FSL and Colorado got the 1-0 win. With the result FSL's post season hopes are on life support, now needing a win next week and needing San Jose and Dallas to drop points.

Another Odd Game Featuring Montreal At DSG

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Weird things happen when Montreal comes to town. Four years ago the Rapids won on a wind-blown ball that was whistled out for a corner before it went in the goal but the goal stood. This year it was two VARS, two red cards, the first goal from our new summer signing, and Alan Gordon's 3rd game winning goal of the season.

Doyle Retires

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To quickly dispense with the mess from last night Dallas beat us in the first 10 minutes and then just ran the remaining 80 minutes off the clock with no threat they would ever lose. The Rapids are now officially eliminated from the playoffs.

Moving on to more important news, Kevin Doyle announced his retirement today, effective immediately.

Rapids Snap Winless Streak With Surprise Win

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The Rapids last road win? Houston (last year). The Rapids last home win? Houston (in July). So of course we should have seen this surprise win coming. Colorado seems to have Houston's number but it wasn't exactly exciting soccer. We saw our first real glimpse of what Aigner can bring to this team, his perfect cross to Badji to set up the winning (and only) goal is a pass we haven't seen often as Rapids fans.

I'm Done

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That's it, I'm done with this team, at least for this year. That was a shameful performance from the organization on Saturday night. It started with a pregame show that featured a 4.5 minute segment on how well FSL is fitting into the community in SLC for no reason other than what, to shove it in the fans faces that their rival is doing so much better than them?

Last Spark Of Playoff Hope Crushed

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I felt the season was pretty much over before this weekend, but dropping 2 points to the team you're trying to catch really shuts the door on the playoffs. BigSoccer has even done the math, for at least the last 10 years anyone who gets this far behind has failed to make the postseason.

The game was really a tale of two strategies for the Rapids, one that worked and got us the lead, and one that failed and lot us the lead.

Rapids Make Dynamo Look Comical

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Wow, for maybe the first time this year the Rapids looked like a team with a plan that was better than their opponent and wanted to take full advantage of it. Colorado out-passed, out-hustled, and certainly out-shot the Dynamo on their way to a 3-1 victory. Completely worth leaving the Greg Grunberg session at Comic-Con a bit early to make ti to the game.

A Microcosm Of Almost Everything That's Wrong

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This game was a microcosm of almost everything that's wrong with this team.

  • No depth as we're only using 25 of our 30 roster spots, so tired players have to play and players have to be played out of position. This leads to injuries like we saw with Sjoberg and Gashi, who were just coming back from injury.

New Road Trip, Same Road Result

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Really there's not much to talk about for this one. If you've seen most road matches this year (Philly being the exception) you've seen this one. The strategy was clearly bunker, be happy if we score on the counter, otherwise get out with a 0-0 draw. Of course that fails, as it has failed every road game this season, when the Rapids give up a goal.

Rapids Leave It Late In Toppling Timbers

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Well, the Rapids have figured out how to win, just not how to win easily. For the third game in a row Colorado had to come from behind to get the three points. Just like the Columbus game, Gordon scored a late header for a 2-1 win. It may not be the prettiest way but it is exciting and gets us 3 points!

Rapids Earn Three Points

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Colorado came from behind for the 2-1 win Saturday night, something we hadn't seen yet this season (and not much last season due to the number of 1-0 wins we had). The team was the better squad on the night both watching them and largely on the stat line as well.

  • 7 shots on goal, which might be a high for this season.

Rapids Withstand Sporting Siege

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Well I got my prediction from Saturday half right. KC did outplay us, badly, but not in the one thing that counts, the scoreboard. Kortne Ford got his first professional goal early on and then KC laid siege to our goal but the Rapids defense held up for the 1-0 win.
  • Great snap header from Ford for the early goal.

When All Else Fails, Change Nothing

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From Thursday:
This will be a dour game between the two teams with the least amount of shots on goal this season. In the end Vancouver has better players and will get a 1-0 win.
Which is exactly what happened. After 5 losses and 3 straight shutouts though the Rapids decided to stand pat as the transfer window closed today.

And before you know it, we're flying backwards

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Bonus points to anyone who can name the series above (which this post's title comes from)
Yep, another game, another defensive meltdown, another loss. We've gone from a historic home defense (7 goals allowed in 34 games, a league record) to one that's allowed over half of that in just 3 games.

Rapids Start Ahead Of 2016 Pace

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A very 2016 look brought a very 2016 result, a grinder kind of game for the 1-0 win and 3 points to start the season. Last year Colorado opened the season in San Jose and lost by that same scoreline, so we're ahead of last year's pace at this point.
General Impressions:
  • This was a very 2016 game.

Rapids End Season With First Home Loss Of The Year

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Well, that's it. Seattle outplayed us in both legs and they move on to MLS Cup after a 1-0 win yesterday. There really isn't much to say about this one. Colorado set a regular and post-season MLS record by having 16 shots with none of them on target. Much like we've seen all season, in a game they came in trailing by a goal they didn't get one shot on target.

Draw Clinches 2 Seed, Undefeated Home Season

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Awarding Axel Sjoberg the C38 Defensive Player of the Year
Opening lineups announced with Jones not listed on the bench
Rapids play down to the Dynamo's level in the first half
Dynamo score from an uncovered far post run
Is it halftime yet?

Meanwhile in LA
Gashi scores his first home goal
Jones subs in:

Both teams push for another goal
Meanwhile, back in LA
Rapids get the draw, the undefeated home season, the #2 seed, and home field in MLS Cup
Obviously we wanted the Shield but I think we all knew that was a lost cause after last week's loss.

Rapids Lost In New England

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Pablo puts out the best possible lineup given injuries and absences:

Revs score 12 minutes in: Our defense on that goal:
Powers just misses and then has a shot saved:
The Rapids don't get another shot the rest of the half:
Colorado gives up another PK:
Revs miss the PK, making teams 0-3 in the last two games:
Revs score 4 minutes into the second half:
The Rapids get one shot on goal in the second half:
There go our chances for some sort of home-field advantage in the playoffs
Man of the Match: The goalpost.

Who's Your Pappa?

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An ugly game but 3 points. I'll take it. The Rapids really looked rusty out there Saturday night (or maybe it was the heat) but luckily the Fire is a bad team and looked worse.
General Impressions:
  • While we got lucky on the own goal we made that luck. The aggressiveness after the Fire goal is what out us in position to benefit from the mistake.

Rapids Move On To Round Of 16

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A lackadaisical Rapids side did just enough to get the win last night without expending too much energy. A late goal from Serna was enough for the home team to claim best team in Colorado rights for a second straight year. Other than the goal it was a fairly quiet night out in Commerce City.

Before the match we received some updated player news:

  • Castillo was recalled from and Calvert sent to Charlotte
  • Azira was suspended for the match due to a ed card in his last USOC match last year with Seattle (this was the trigger to Dempsey's infamous referee abuse)
  • Burch came up with an unspecified injury
  • Watts collided with Powers going for a header in training.

Rapids Go Into Break On A Streak

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A draw that felt like a loss. Shows up how far we've come in a short time. For the last couple of years most draws felt like wins. Despite that Colorado goes into the Copa break on a 9 game undefeated streak, tying a team record. They also sit on top of the league in both total points (though they could be passed by Dallas on Wednesday but we would have 2 games in hand) and points per game (it would take any team at least 3 straight wins to catch us in that stat).

Rapids Get Three The Hard Way

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It wasn't pretty but it was effective. Bunkering down and withstanding a Seattle onslaught while scoring the only shot on target they had all night isn't the usual path to victory but for this team it worked. A 1-0 win continues an 8 game unbeaten streak.
General Impressions:
  • That was a fairly ugly match for the Rapids.

Colorado Grinds To A Draw

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The Rapids dragged their way through the game on Saturday night on Columbus, doing just enough to extend their undefeated streak to seven games. This included maybe the worst half the team has played this season and a number of players looking dead on their feet by the end of the game. Luckily the team has a full week off before heading for Seattle.

Six In A Row

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From USAToday
Well it was very much a mid-week/short rest MLS game but the Rapids found another way to win it. This time it was Dillon Serna off the bench that found the winner. If you remember a few games ago in KC it was Serna's bomb after coming off the bench that rebounded off the crossbar to Gashi to finish that resulted in the winner over KC.

Rapids Take League Lead

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A stellar defensive effort combined with enough offense to break through has put the Rapids on top of MLS with a 1-0 win. They also took control of the RMC race, now with a win or a draw in the final game in August the Cup will stay in Colorado.
General Impressions:
  • Great first 10 minutes for the Rapids.

Welcome To Colorado Jermaine!

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From my preview on Friday:
1-0 win, goal by Jones. NY is also on short rest and playing at altitude and in weather. They haven't had much of an offense lately and our defense is pretty stout. This sets up for Jermaine Jones to make a big impact in his first game.
So it was actually a goal and an assist from Jones and we won 2-1.

No, They're Not Going To See This Coming

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Hat-tip to Malcolm Reynolds/Joss Whedon for the title of this one. I'm not sure anyone saw that result coming. Going into KC with a 4 man bench (4!) and a makeshift backline the Rapids get their first multi-goal output of the season en route to their first road win of 2016.
General Impressions:
  • That was an ugly 18, well 15, we suited up for the game.

MacMath Loses Mind, Rapids Lose Point

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Much of what I wanted to say about the game was covered in Sunday's post but here's the official wrap-up. The Rapids played FSLl fairly equally, got some really bad luck from MacMath's decision making, some good luck from a missed offside, and lost 1-0. Its hard to say its an unfair result but you'd like to see the score earned, not be created due to lucky non-calls and poor decision making.

Rapids Finish A Goal And A Man Up

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Jermaine Jones signing my jersey
So yeah, that happened at the C38 tailgate making it a good day before the game even kicked off. Then it was followed up by a red card, a goal, and a 1-0 win putting the the Rapids at a surprising 7 points after 4 games. Great day on Saturday.
General Impressions:
  • Let's get to the three big decisions first since everyone is talking about them, going in order.

Rapids Get A Point From A Dire Game

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Ugly game, ugly result. A good corner from Pappa was undone by a bad goalkeeping blunder by MacMath, resulting in a 1-1 draw. I said it my preview a draw wouldn't surprise me and it doesn't, but the poor quality of play and how we surrendered the tying goal did. A game where a draw was probably a fair result but it feels like two dropped points by Colorado.

Who's Your Daddy?

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Pappa. Pappa's your daddy LA. In a game where the Rapids were the better team but not much happened we finally got the break we needed at the last possible moment. Almost literally with the final kick of the game (LA kicked off and booted it deep afterwards) Pappa scored the only goal in Colorado's first win of the season.

New Year, Same Result

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For the third time in four years the Rapids were held scoreless in their season opener. That, combined with a minute if inattentiveness, is all that was needed to end up with a loss to start the season. The scorelines was a bit unfair to Colorado, who seemed to be the better team overall. We probably deserved a draw based on our play but we're way past time for morale victories.

Just Two More Home Games To Go

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I heard a lot of diehards saying the title of this post Saturday night. Its been a long season and the DC game didn't make it much better. Another attempt to park the bus for far too long failed badly and Pablo again failed to adapt on the fly. Specifically his decision not to undo his 3rd sub after DC scored, instead pulling Doyle off for Labrocca in a game that multiple people in the organization (Fleming, Smith, Hinchey) identified as a must win should be one more nail in his coffin.

The Rest

Moving On From Minnesota To Salaries

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When you realize tomorrow's Monday... #MINvCOL | 0-0 — Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 23, 2017

Oh Badji. Oh no. #MINvCOL — Total MLS (@TotalMLS) April 23, 2017
And that's really all we need to say about that game.