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.
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
I know it’s only preseason, but if this were the regular season, the Rapids who lead for a majority of the game holding 3 points in their grasp. Sporting scored in the 77th and the tying goal in the 78th minute, both goals coming after the Rapids were playing down a man on the ejection of Francisco Flores in the 75th minute.
Again it’s only preseason but this is where the Rapids have to begin to tighten the screws and bolts as they head into the start of the new season and a loss like this can hopefully serve as a learning point moving forward. Points dropped during the season like this will serve as another long season for the Rapids and their fans.
Dominque Badji and Gaby Torres both scored for the Rapids with assists from Lucas Pittinari and Vicente Sanchez. Zac MacMath was in net for the Rapids. If you include the preseason game against UNLV, then the Rapids are 1-1-1 so far this preseason.
Rapids will play their next preseason game of the Desert Diamond Cup against the New England Revolution this Saturday.
Brian Mullan who retired from playing after last season with the Rapids returned to the team both as an assistant coach and a community ambassador. Full story here.
Welcome back Brian and best of luck in your new roles!
Catching up on other previous news.
– The Rapids have added to their front office last week in the hiring of Richard Clarke from Arsenal as the new Senior Director of Communications and Digital Media.
– Former Rapids homegrown player Davy Armstrong signs with USL Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.
– The loan of Belgrano midfielder Lucas Pittinari to the Rapids was made official at the end of January.
The Rapids who some were thought to go with adding some depth to their midfield, in the draft today instead went with strengthening their back line somewhat with two defenders in the first two rounds. Colorado held the 19th pick to start the day and ended up trading up with Columbus to gain the 14th pick, That pick was Swedish born Axel Sjoberg, 6’7″ out of Marquette University.
The Rapids also held the 26th pick overall and in the second round selected Joseph Greenspan out of the U.S. Naval Academy. How soon we get to see Greenspan take the pitch will be decided by the Naval Academy, Greenspan has his commitment to the military that could be done while he pursues a professional soccer career, think David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs or even later.
Welcome to both Axel Sjoberg and Joseph Greenspan!
Rapids also made another surprise move today by trading allocation money and rank to the Los Angeles Galaxy for midfielder Marcelo Sarvas. Sarvas a fan favorite in LA comes over to the Rapids as a key contributor to the Galaxy success winning MLS Cup titles with the Galaxy in 2012 and 2014. Sarvas started 80 of the 88 appearances he made for the Galaxy, even 3 goals and 11 assists in 2014. This makes up for the loss of Jose Mari this season as he wanted to return to Spain to continue his career.
Welcome Marcelo Sarvas!
Not sure how I missed this one but Chris Bianchi reported earlier in the week that the Rapids have signed a midfielder out of Argentina by the name of Lucas Pittinari. Pittinari, 23, played 5 years in the top flight in Argentine Primera Division with Club Atletico Belgrano and comes over on a one year loan with the option to purchase. Full story here. To translate the page if using Google Chrome, right click and highlight “Translate to English”.
Welcome Lucas Pittinari!
Overall the Rapids I would say had a very productive draft day, acquiring two quality defenders and later trading for an experienced midfielder in Sarvas. My biggest concern is whether or not Pablo and his staff can develop the new talent (Sjoberg and Greenspan) and put together a solid gameplan week after week for the team to have much more success in 2015. Only time will tell as training camps start next week.
Rounds 3 and 4 of the MLS Super Draft take place next Tuesday via phone conference.