Burgundy Headlines for Dec 13th…

The Rapids unprotected players were not chosen by either Atlanta United FC or Minnesota United FC in this afternoon’s expansion draft. Call it a blessing or a curse depending on the player.

Not much noise made today from the Rapids except for this, see below.

If there was anyone on this team last season who epitomizes the slogan “#keepfighting” it was Jermaine Jones. And not just with the Rapids, but with any team he has been with. Hopefully someone next season can pick up and emulate the intensity and the fight on the field the way Jones does. Thank you Jermaine for everything you gave to the club and the fans.

EXTRA TIME – In former Rapids news, Toronto FC keeper Clint Irwin was selected by the Atlanta United FC in today’s expansion draft. Then later traded back to Toronto FC.

Advertisements

4 questions heading into the Rapids season opener…

There are four questions in relation to the Rapids that come to mind as we head into the MLS season just days away.

Question #1Can the Rapids be the Leicester City of MLS this season? Meaning, can Pablo & Co be THE talk of the league, the top dog in the Supporter’s Shield race or even win the MLS Cup? Short answer, NO. Sure it’s possible and it would be great for the supporters and the league if the Rapids could pull off such a feat, but as long as Mastroeni is in charge, I dont see it happening. His substitution patterns are more times than not questionable at best. And he hasn’t grasped the idea of attacking football and how to implement it. The Rapids have hopes of a great season as the other 19 teams in MLS, but they will not be good enough to take the league by storm, though stranger things have happened.

Question #2 – Speaking of Mastroeni, he is no doubtedly on the hot seat coming this season. Does Pablo get the axe or does he make it through the whole season? How will he(Pablo) fare as 2016 rolls along? Will he be like Brendan Rogers (fired early season), Jose Mourinho (mid-season) or more like Louis Van Gaal, hanging on week in and week out throughout this season?

I strongly believe that if the Rapids get off to a bad start in March, April and maybe some into May that he is gone, adios, arrivederci, giving assistant coach John Spencer time to shape the team the way he wants especially before the pending arrival of Tim Howard in July. Though there is still nothing officially announced on this possible move.

Question #3Who will the Rapids miss the most this season Clint Irwin, Vicente Sanchez, Gaby Torres or Drew Moor? Quick answer without a doubt, Irwin, A LOT! Nothing against McMath, but you still have to prove to us that you’re capable in net. It’s gonna be difficult with a legendary Tim Howard looking over your shoulder even from as far away as Everton.

Next would be Sanchez. Many times last season he was the only spark offensively the Rapids had, the one player who could create and play 1v1 against opposing defenders, making him a fan favorite.

Question #4 – Can this season’s tandem of Doyle & Gashi be as good as the scoring duo of Conor Casey & Omar Cummings?¬†Rapids fans can only hope so! We have yet to see much of Doyle and Gashi together on the pitch, but something tells me that if the midfield can move the ball forward and not create turnovers, this could be a special pair for the Rapids.

Those are just a few questions that came to mind for me as we head into the 2016 season starting in just 4 short days! Your thoughts? And what other questions do you have for this season?

The Full 90: Week 3 – New York City F.C. at Rapids recap…

Saturday was a gorgeous day for the Rapids home opener as they took on one of the leagues newest clubs in New York City F.C. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was sold out to witness the new look Rapids and NYCFC’s David Villa and US International Mix Diskerud. My thoughts on the game below.

New C38 Tifo

The GOOD – Defensively the Rapids were solid, especially in the first half. They were physical. Sjoberg didnt back down from David Villa and for most of the game frustrated him, limiting his touches. Keeper Clint Irwin was again solid with his second clean sheet this season. Offensively the Rapids outshot their opponent 21 to 9.

The BAD – Despite 21 shots(7 on goal), the Rapids were unable to find the back of the net.

The UGLY – Winless streak is now at 16.

Synopsis – Despite not scoring a goal yet in the first two games, the offensive attack showed great improvement. the Rapids had 19 more shots than they did in week 1. The 4-2-3-1 formation is working well so far 2 games in. The attacking midfield combination of Powers, Torres and Sanchez looked great. Very impressed with the play of Cronin and Pittinari as well in the back half of midfield. Does Drew Moor remain the captain when he returns? Sjoberg and the back line made few mistakes, kept NYCFC’s attackers off balance. Two games in, 2 points. Remember it could be lot worse. Overall grade – B

The Full 90: Week 1 – Rapids at Union recap…

I finally got the chance to watch the season opener against the Union and here are my thoughts on the game.

The GOOD – Defensively, the Rapids were there, even when they were playing down a man in the second half after the Burling dismissal. They were physical, they attacked the ball, dominated the aerial battles, winning 62% of those. Irwin was great in net. Sjoberg was more than solid in his first start of his rookie MLS campaign.

The BAD – Offensively only two shots, zero on goal. Possession 38%, too many turnovers and too many balls played over the top. Little creativity from the midfield. Midfield play further declined after Sanchez substitution.

The UGLY – The second yellow and red card send off of Bobby Burling in the 67th minute. The winless streak continues.

Synopsis – I know we’re only one game in, but this is a much better Rapids team defensively from what we saw in the second half of the season last year. Midfield needs to control possession better and create opportunities moving the ball forward. Still a well earned point for the Rapids on the road to start the season. If the playoffs started today, we would be in, LOL!

Rapids add keeper Zac MacMath on loan from Union…

Another intra-league loan, oh joy! The Philadelphia Union loan keeper Zac MacMath to the Rapids for the 2015 season. MacMath, 23 was selected 5th overall in the 2011 Super Draft.

My two cents. MacMath has the experience, (4 years, 103 appearances in the league) in backing up Irwin or at least challenging Irwin for the starting job is certainly a good thing. The Rapids trading away of Joe Nasco to the Revolution, left only John Berner, who has just 5 appearances in 2014 his only season with the Rapids, as the only other keeper on the roster. So the move makes sense for the Rapids, yes I said “Rapids” and “makes sense” in the same sentence. I can guarantee you that this probably wont happen too much this season. The Rapids would give up a draft pick to the Union if MacMath becomes a permanent transfer. Welcome Zac MacMath!

“Great now we have a Zac and a Zat on the roster!” said no one ever.

 

Rapids featured in NY Times story on salaries and the love of the game…

Good article in the N.Y. Times about the disparity of salaries in MLS and how many in the league play for the love of the game despite poor minimum salaries. The article features Rapids goalkeepers, Clint Irwin, Joe Nasco and John Berner. Story here.

The Full 90 – Rapids vs Sounders FC observations…

On paper, this was a definite win for the Sounders no matter how you look at it. But as the old saying goes, the games arent played on paper. It’s probably a good thing the games arent played on paper, because the score wouldv’e been worse than the 4-1 beating the Rapids were handed Sunday afternoon. The Rapids are officially out of the playoffs after Sundays loss to the Sounders.

Defense, defense, defense! Where was the defense? I know it’s a question we’ve been asking the last few weeks and again Sunday. As many would agree, it was great to see Clint Irwin back between the pipes, though his back line in front of him didnt do a whole lot to help the cause. Irwin did make a few nice saves, but he cant save everything and the defense needs to be better, we all can agree. I dont know if Nasco or Berner would have fared any better in net. I still believe Irwin gives us the best chance in net overall.

It was also great to get a first look at the newly acquired 6’6″ 225lbs, Zat Knight in the second half of the game. I will say that despite Wynne’s mistake on a goal given up in the first half, that I do question Pablo’s substitution of Knight coming in for Wynne. Knight is a wall of a defender in his size alone and he’s not gonna be as quick as when Dempsey or Martins come speeding into the 18. Since it seems like Pablo has given up on the remainder of the season and is experimenting with lineups, I say why not leave your speediest defender (Wynne) on the field with Knight at the same time?

Here are a few photos I took from Saturday.

Offensively the team seemed to be missing a gear. Passing was slow, sloppy and misdirected(I’m looking at you LaBrocca, though you weren’t the only one!). There were some bright spots and some chances created. Good to see Torres get his second consecutive start also.

The team heads to Chivas for the final time (maybe for good). Chivas won their game over Salt Lake on Sunday ending their 12 game winless streak and are gonna come into this weekend’s match hungry to put together consecutive wins. This is the game the Rapids desparetely need to end their own 11 game winless streak, of course I thought that same thing before the San Jose game last weekend prior too.

Go Rapids!!!

The Full 90 – Quakes vs Rapids observations…

Some observations from the match Saturday night against the Quakes. Good effort overall by the boys, statistically they were the better team on the night. They created some chances, were more aggressive and it looked as though they had a good week of practice leading up to the game. They still need to tighten up on defense some more, but certainly an improvement over the previous few games. It figures that the two teams with similar winless streaks would end this match in a tie. Both the Quakes and Rapids are now winless in their last 10 matches.

It was good to see Gaby Torres get the start up top with Deshorn Brown, this has been long overdue. I actually like the substitution in the second half of Sanchez in for Powers. I’m sure Sanchez would love to start every match as any player would, but I like it when he comes off the bench and immediately this team gets a much needed spark going forward. Joe Nasco in net was a huge surprise as earlier in the week it was hinted or suggested that Irwin looked like he might get the start going into the weekend.

The attendance was actually better than I expected it to be considering the Rapids freefall the last 2 months and hosting a team like the Quakes doesnt necessarily guarantee a huge turnout, unless hecking Wondolowski is on your to-do list for the evening.

Three points were there for the taking for the Rapids, but I’m still left wondering why there was so much stoppage time at the end of the match. Regardless or not, the Rapids need to continue to play until the whistle is blown. Better job this week Rapids, now let’s see what we can do against Seattle on Sunday. Go Rapids!

Photos Rapids Intra-squad scrimmage March 8…

The Rapids held an open “burgundy versus blue “intra-squad scrimmage for fans today at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Here are just a few of my photos from today.

According to ColoradoRapids.com today’s scrimmage drew about 200 fans. Not a huge number by any means, but honestly more than I figured would even show at all, considering this scrimmage was just announced Friday.