It’s been a busy day for the Rapids so far as we approach the expansion draft for NYCFC and Orlando City along with the waiver draft, etc. The Rapids declined the contract options on several players. Edson Buddle, Marvell Wynne, Nick LaBrocca, Joe Nasco, Danny Mwanga, Davy Armstrong, Carlos Alvarez, Grant Van De Casteele, Gale Agbossoumonde, Thomas Piermayr and Kamani Hill. It’s possible that any of these players could return to the Rapids for 2015 prior to going into camp in January, but we’ll see.
The Rapids did exercise the option on Tony Cascio for next season. Cascio who played for the Dynamo on loan in 2014, sitting out most of the season with a torn ACL.
Speaking of the Dynamo, they declined the option on Omar Cummings’ contract. How about this? Bringing back the fellow Jamaican, (not to mention fan favorite) to be the threat up top that Buddle couldnt do and to help Deshorn Brown along in his development as a striker? All at a lesser cost of course. How about it Bravo?
Well the season has finally officially come to an end. The Rapids drop the season finale to the Whitecaps 1-0. This I have to say was the best effort overall in both halves put together by the Rapids during the now 14 game winless streak. That’s not to say there wasn’t some areas where the team could improve.
Possession was horrible, 40%. Passing wasnt much better. Too many balls being played over the top into no waiting Rapids player and into the opposing team. The midfield needs someone who can possess the ball, move it and start the attack. Defense was much better as a whole in this game even after losing Marvell Wynne to injury. The exception of course being the set piece the Whitecaps scored on a header in the 18. Which brings me to Zat Knight. Please let’s go ahead now and shelve the Zat Knight experiment. Sure we maybe needed the experience on the back line due to injuries a few weeks ago, but in the 3.5 matches he’s played in, he’s provided nothing of any positive aspect to the team. Clearly Knight at 6’6″, 225 and as the captain he should have been marking the Whitecaps Kendall Waston (6’5″, 215) inside the 18 and not Deshorn Brown. A captain needs to see the situation and make those decisions.
I love Eloundou up top, hopefully he will see more time with the first team in 2015. He seems to be the one forward who consistently makes good runs on and off the ball, making himself a threat on the offensive side. Deshorn is still the bigger scoring threat on the team but Eloundou is a breath of fresh air in the attacking third.
I hope Drew Moor isn’t getting too comfortable in his after playing days role as a media personality while he’s been out. He’s done podcasts, video and tonight was behind the desk with Marcelo and Fleming in the Rapids pre and post game. He certainly looks comfortable in that role, but let’s not rush him to retirement just yet.
2014 is done for the Rapids as we start to look forward to following the MLS playoffs. The Rapids have a ton of questions to answer in the offseason to say the least.
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.
DeAndre Yedlin warming up
Clint Irwin back in net
Action in front of the net
C38 celebrate after Deshorn’s goal
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.