It’s matchday Rapids fans! Leg 1 of the playoffs against the Galaxy at StubHub Center. #KeepFighting
The media is showing Pablo some love with a couple of features from Ives Galarcep for Goal.com and Jeff Carlisle for ESPN FC.
Daniel Boniface of the Denver Post looks at how the best defenses have done in the MLS playoffs.
And a story from Los Angeles previewing the Rapids/Galaxy matchup.
The GOOD – 3 massive points on the road! Dominique Badji’s 2 goals. 2 points within league leading FC Dallas. The winning goal by Shkelzen Gashi. Powers 2 assists on the night! Most points of the season with 54 so far by any team in Rapids history! First round bye in the playoffs.
The BAD – The 2 sloppy goals given up by the Rapids defense. No Sam Cronin, suspended for the next match due to yellow card accumulation.
The UGLY – The remaining 3 games of the regular season are against teams with better quality than the Dynamo. If the Rapids don’t raise their game in some fashion and run the table, the Supporters Shield is out of the question.That begins Thursday at home against San Jose.
SUMMARY – Good to see the Rapids use their bench and get minutes for Castillo, Greenspan and Calvert, even if it comes due to exhaustion to Gashi, Badji and Le Toux. These minutes are important going into these last three games for these players.
Man Of The Match – Dom Badji
LOOKING AHEAD – With Cronin out against his old team San Jose, I expect Powers to move into his position as DM along side Azira and Gashi to move into Powers position as the #10, assuming Hairston is available to play the wing. If Hairston isn’t available then I think it’s possible though highly unlikely that we could see Pappa on the wing, leaving Gashi as the #10.
No word on Doyle’s availability, as well as Burling, or Jones for this match.
Rapids are gonna have to determine the pace of the game against San Jose early with the offense. Rapids have to score early and first causing San Jose to have the added pressure to chase them. But the Rapids cant immediately go into parking the bus, they will have to do like they did last week and continue to look for goals. #keepfighting #shieldhunting
See you Thursday at “The Richard”.
A lot of love going out to our viking, Axel Sjoberg today. Howard talks Supporter’s Shield. See below.
- Today over at Goal.com, their MLS Spotlight is on Rapids second year defender Axel Sjoberg. Story here.
- MLS follows up later with a spotlight of their own on Sjoberg. Story here.
- MLSSoccer.com article with Howard discussing the push for the Shield. Story here.
The GOOD – The offense woke up in the 2nd half, thanks to efforts by Hairston, Badji that lead up to a goal by Le Toux. Not that the Rapids didnt have chances prior to that. Watts improved play on the back line. Howard with another clean sheet. MacMath’s yellow card from the bench in the 77th minute resulting in the loudest cheer of the night from supporters. The physicality of the match. Sjoberg and Watts frustrating Adi all night. And oh yea, clinching a playoff berth!
The BAD – Dillon Powers and his headband. No Azira due to suspension. Pablo’s constant raising his arms in complaints to officials, though he was somewhat justified in this match. But it only makes him look bad and in my belief is a distraction. Late arriving and early leaving fans at DSGP. Another slow start to the game by the Rapids. Pablo harps on dictating the pace in the first 15 minutes of each game but havent seen much of that this season.
The UGLY – Officiating especially in the first half. Though the officials wore blue Saturday night, there seemed to be an additional green kit on the pitch early on.
SUMMARY – A hard fought 3 points for the Rapids. Keeping pace with Shield leaders FC Dallas, who have 56 points and the Rapids still with 2 games in hand. The Rapids with 51 points tying their best total in team history from 2013. Defense was much better this game than the 2 or 3 previous games. Next up, on the road at Houston Dynamo, Oct 8th.