A look at some of today’s headlines leading up to 5th round action tonight in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Rapids @ FC Dallas.
I’m hoping for an upset tonight against FC Dallas in the 5th round of the US Open Cup but let’s be honest, it’s not gonna happen. Unless Pablo transforms himself in Pep Guardiola, or Antonio Conte, the Rapids will likely end their US Open Cup run in the same fashion as last year and to the same team. Match can be watched online at ussoccer.com, kickoff 6pm(MT). I think we can expect Pablo to rest most of the bigger names tonight against FC Dallas ahead of this weekend’s league matchup with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday. Gashi now back from injury may see the pitch some tonight.
The U23s match tonight at DSGP couldn’t come at worse time (seriously no pun intended) with kickoff half an hour before the Rapids kickoff with FC Dallas at 6pm.
After re-watching Saturday’s game here is finally a recap and a few of my frustrations.
The GOOD – A very important 3 points and an equally important road win! Another clean sheet for Howard. Game winning goal scored by Badji in the 52nd minute. Giving FC Dallas their first home loss of the season.
The BAD – Defense overall as well as the back line are still shaky. Not sure why Eric Miller continues to get the start. Williams needs to be back in the starting 11. Or give Castillo a shot? Rapids were outshot 17 to 7, and 7 to 1 on target. Doyle’s injury after only 6 mins on the field in the 2nd half, let’s hope he’s good to go this weekend against San Jose.
The UGLY – Only capturing 3 out of 9 possible points in this 3 game road trip.
The SUM OF IT ALL – The Rapids have plugged up a hole in the ship for this week, despite still taking on water. Didn’t the Rapids hire Spenny as an offensive coordinator of sorts for Pablo? Clearly this hire hasnt paid off in the way the RFO might have envisioned.
Counter attacks are not attacking football. This team needs to force the pace of the game from the first whistle and not always sit and wait to counter. Playing the ball over the top also is not attacking football. It’s like throwing a penny into a wishing well and hoping good comes from it. I feel like I’m watching a bad game of beach volleyball week in and week out lately.
This team needs to not worry about the Supporters Shield, stop playing for an unbeaten streak unless it’s for 3 points only each time out. I’m not saying take all of the focus away from the Shield. But this team needs to play a better and a more consistent brand of soccer if it has any plan of making any noise in the playoffs. Playing for draws wont do this team a lot of good down the stretch, even with 2 games still in hand. The Rapids need to start playing for wins and this has to happen now. Despite the win in Dallas, the Rapids were lucky to get that win. FC Dallas knows well that to slow the Rapids down is to hog possession of the ball and that’s what they did, owning 64% possession. And FC Dallas arent the only team to have figured this out.
The speed of Badji and Hairston on the wings is useless if the Rapids cant possess the ball. Just go back and look at Badji’s goal in the 52nd minute, quick attacking possession brought on that goal. (Yes you might want to give Pablo an assist). Your #9 hold up player, cant do his job if the Rapids arent again possessing the ball.
Sloppy passing and too many turnovers not just in the midfield are only one of the Achilles hurting this team right now, which in turn forces more pressure on the defense. Blame all of this on Pablo as he was a defender in his playing days, it’s all he knows. As for running any type of offense, Pablo hasnt a clue.
Clearly this team misses Gashi, Jones and Pappa. Let’s hope we can get all of them back against San Jose.
There’s not much more that can be said that hasnt already been said before, as the Rapids lose again this afternoon to FC Dallas 1-0, extending their winless streak to now 13 games.
Todays starting lineup was nowhere near similar to last week’s lineup at Chivas USA, one exception of Vicente Sanchez starting in place of Charles Eloundou. Powers is not starting up top as a forward this week as he did last week. He was back to his midfield position. Wynne and Klute were back to their regular starting positions on the back line. Few similarities from the previous week was Irwin again back in net for the 3rd straight game and Zat Knight was wearing the captain’s armband for the second consecutive game.
The Rapids dominated possession with 57%, but were outshot 9 to 6. Jared Watts red card in the 79th minute of the second half didnt help the Rapids cause any, leaving the team to play down a man with 10. There was a Davey Armstrong sighting, who came into the game for Dillon Powers in the 80th minute. The substitution of Charles Eloundou in for Deshorn Brown in the 89th minute was stupid by Pablo. FC Dallas were the more physical team I felt, even though it seemed like every few minutes FC Dallas did their best Sporting KC impersonation with player on the ground “injured” after a little contact.
Defensively the team played better, if for no other reason that they didnt give up a goal from open play. The penalty kick for FC Dallas on a handball by Klute was the only reason FC Dallas were able to score.
FC Dallas again on the ground “injured”
Game action against FC Dallas
The highlight of the game for Rapids fans
El Matador supporters group
Final home game of 2014
The home season is now done for the Rapids and on fan appreciation day an announced crowd was just over 15000, really was not bad for a team playing as bad as the Rapids have been playing. There were a good number of FC Dallas fans in attendance aside from the El Matador supporters in section 100. Centennial 38 seemed louder today, which is always a good thing.
The Rapids finish out the season next Saturday at Vancouver with a chance to again get the most elusive win and to end the season on a positive. Let’s go Rapids!