MLS Match Review: Seattle Sounders 1, Colorado Rapids 0

Welcome to Kyle’s Colorado Corner: Three Thumbs Down, Three Thumbs Up!

I don’t have six thumbs, but have chosen to cover three positives and three negatives from matches to liven up the standard game recap. Feel free to share your own thumbs in the comments, no matter who you were cheering for! I love to hear from the other side, and for that matter, my own brethren (and sis-ren? Is that a word?) Editor’s note: lucky for you, your editor knows Old English and Middle English – brethren and sistren were used in Middle English but the latter was not popularized).

Seattle Sounders' Marco Pappa, second from left, is mobbed by teammates after Pappa scored a goal against the Colorado Rapids in the first half of an MLS soccer match, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, in Seattle. The Sounders beat the Rapids 1-0. TED S. WARREN — The Associated Press
Seattle Sounders’ Marco Pappa, second from left, is mobbed by teammates after Pappa scored a goal against the Colorado Rapids, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, in Seattle.
Photo: Ted S. Warren, AP

Last night’s loss pushed the Rapids to 2-3-7, leaving them in 10th place in the Western Conference with 13 points. The Sounders ran their record 7-3-2 and take the top spot.

Three thumbs down:

First thumb down goes to Jared Watts. Please can someone explain to me why he is still playing for the Rapids? I have been watching him since last year and I don’t get it. He didn’t mark Marco Pappa thus Pappa scored. He spent a lot of time on the field chasing the ball not without in any thoughts to keeping formation. To top it off,  he got a yellow card and didn’t contribute a lick of good to the game. Why, Jared Watts, why?

Second thumb down goes to the Rapids’ first half offense, or it would, if there had been any. 25% possession is not enough. Nobody pushed forward for the first forty-five minutes, save for Solignac breaking away a couple of times with no back-up. This kind of play is how we end up with historical numbers of draw games, and it works if the other team doesn’t score, but not so much if they do (see Jared Watts, above).

My third thumb down goes to Colorado’s passing. If you were listening to the Altitude feed, Marcelo Balboa kept talking about the impact of turf on the path of the ball, slowing it down thus magnifying the accuracy of passes. This game, therefore, can serve almost as a magnifying glass for the fact that we honest to goodness aren’t that accurate at passing. Pittinari was passing into open space, passes were flying just a few feet too wide of where they ought to, and players were constantly having to chase the ball.

Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, right, kicks the ball away from Colorado Rapids' Luis Solignac during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, in Seattle. Photo: Ted S. Warren, AP
Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, right, battles Colorado Rapids’ Luis Solignac, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, in Seattle. Photo: Ted S. Warren, AP

Three thumbs up:

First thumb up goes to the Rapids’ defense. This game could have gone a lot worse if the defense hadn’t been on point—just as it has for most of the season so far (reference — lots of draws to start the season). In all honesty, however, a 1-0 loss is not a terrible result in Seattle, where the Rapids have never won. Assisted by some seriously off-target Seattle shots and an as-usual great Clint Irwin, the defense was firing on all cylinders despite the captain being out to rest his knee.

Second thumb up goes to the second half change of pace. Whether it was due to subbing Ramirez on, a great pep talk in the locker room—who knows? The possession increased and Ramirez personally had seven shots, one of which was on goal. In the second half the whole team pushed way harder into the other half of the field and the change was palpable.

My last thumb up goes to Luis Solignac. I basically was just really pleased with him playing by himself while he was up top in the starting formation. He was not hesitant to drive forward and actually try to get things going. Even though he didn’t score any goals, I personally liked that he was up there just pushing, especially when the offense was struggling so much in the first half in general.

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 later this weekend for a recap of the Portland game on Saturday!

Thanks! –Kyle

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