Kyle’s Weekly Colorado Corner: Three Thumbs Down, Three Thumbs Up!
A Fourth of July victory for the Colorado Rapids! Yet, Colorado remain at the bottom of the Western Conference and take on Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Vancouver are tied with Seattle at the top of the Western Conference and will host Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
Three thumbs down:
First thumb down goes to the passing. Yes, we’ve had this conversation before. The passing accuracy this week was about 3% better than it was last MLS game against Spork, but 10% lower than against Houston in our U.S. Open Cup loss. Remember, we showed up really poorly in the first half of that USOC game, but much better in the second half, and I think we all could definitely agree that the team today in Commerce City more closely resembled the second half Rapids of Tuesday. Now if only we could have gotten those passing numbers up…
Second thumb down goes to all those yellow cards. Three yellow cards, all within fifteen minutes of each other, and sixteen fouls? Crazy town. I don’t mind yellow cards coming in the run of play when a player does something great/important/whatever and happens to get a card, but none of these came while anything important was happening. There was no reason to get those cards. However — it’s possible the ref saw the game getting out of hand (the Caps got two cards and ten fouls) and started handing out cards in an attempt to slow down the fouls. Did it work? I don’t know. I just don’t love it. Don’t give cards unless they’re necessary, and when all three of them come so close together it makes me nervous.
Third thumb down goes to Drew Moor being out to the side, again. He belongs in the center. Hard for me to say that when we clearly won, but he plays better in the center, as a general rule. He didn’t have a superb game — not a terrible one either for sure, but just not as great as we’re used to seeing him have, defensively. I just don’t like Drew out on the side.
Three thumbs up:
First thumb up goes to Kevin Doyle. Not only did this Irishman score his first Rapids goal on Happy America Day, which I’m sure is a great welcome to the country, he was generally great in this game. For example, looking at his passing chart on Opta, about two thirds of his passes were successful. I don’t really want to throw out names to compare but when I look at other Rapids players, he blows them out of the water. He also won five fouls and lost none. This guy just showed up to play and did a great job.
Second thumb up goes to all those shots. We took fourteen shots last night. Four were on target, five weren’t, and five were blocked. Against Sporting, we took five. What this tells me is that the team is trying. I feel like that has been the constant outcry of Rapids fans — “we aren’t even trying!” Well guess what? Last night it felt like we were certainly trying. I think my husband’s words were, “we’re throwing stuff at the wall to see if it sticks.” It stuck.
Third thumb up goes to winning, against a Canadian team, on Fourth of July. It was magical to sit and watch fireworks while this game drew to an end (we watched on MLS Live). After having been at the USOC match on Tuesday and having sat through a dreadful first half, but then watching it change in the second half, I feel like maybe we’re headed upward. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic. Everyone seems to be clicking. The lineup seems to be, more or less, working out. We’re shooting and actually scoring. And we’re winning.
COL: Vicente Sánchez (Luis Solignac) 2′
DAL: Kekuta Manneh (Mauro Rosales, Steven Beitashour) 20′
COL: Kevin Doyle (Lucas Pittinari) 56′
So who gets your thumbs down and up this game, or where was I completely off target? Be sure to let me know and come back for the next Rapids game, a Rocky Mountain Cup showdown against RSL on Saturday!