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.
I made finally my first ever road trip in support of the Rapids. It’s always been my thought that if I absolutely had to go anywhere for my first road trip that it would without a doubt be Portland. No other club has the atmosphere that this club has at home, sorry Seattle, Sporting and Orlando. Maybe I’m pre-judging the others without having visited them yet, but if you’ve followed this league for a while then you know that what the Portland Timbers, Timbers Army and the city of Portland have here is something very special. And for a club like the Rapids and their supporters it would only be wise to take notes and try to emulate what you can and at the same time come up with your own traditions. Needless to say Portland didn’t disappoint.
Here are a few photos I took from over the weekend, they’re not much, but I hope you enjoy them.
Outside the grounds of Providence Park
South Park themed tifo by Timber’s Army
Timbers team store
An always active Timbers Army
First half game action
Close up of the suites pregame through a heavy rain
A look inside enemy territory the day before
The calm before the storm one day before the Timber v Rapids match
Seriously, the Rapids weren’t expected to win and really I was there to not only support my club but to also take in the atmosphere that only Portland and their supporters can supply. I was more than happy to sit through a pouring rain to support my club, no matter the outcome. We did run into a few more Rapids fans while there which was good to see. I spoke to a number of Timbers fans who went out of their way to welcome me and my small group of Rapids faithful. Took some ribbing from some ushers at Providence Park all in good fun of course that I was wearing the “wrong colors”.
If you havent yet made it to the Providence Park for a Timbers match, do yourself the favor and put it on your soccer bucket list, you wont regret it. A huge “thank you” to Timbers supporters and the Portland community for your hospitality. I look forward to seeing you next season.
On what should be called “transactions week” with numerous trade windows and drafts happening this week, the Rapids did some early Christmas shopping and landed defender Michael Harrington from Portland in exchange for allocation money. An 8 year veteran, in 2013 Harrington started 33 games for the Timbers. In 2014 made 25 appearances despite an ankle injury in May.
The Rapids also traded away keeper Joe Nasco. Nasco and a 2015 3rd round draft pick were sent to the New England Revolution for forwards Dimitry Imbongo, Geoffrey Castillion and a second round pick in the 2015 Super Draft.
Busy day indeed for the Rapids. Welcome to the team Harrington, Imbongo, and Castillion!
Just a few thoughts on the Rapids and some other observations from last night’s match.
Thank you soccer gods, the losing streak is finally over! Finally.
Officiating was questionable more times than not. I’m playing nice when I say that.
The Rapids overall looked better than they have since the losing streak started. It was great to see Shane O’Neill, and Kamani Hill back on the field.
I admit that earlier in the week the Colorado Rapids website stated the goal keeping position was up for grabs, I honestly didnt think Berner would get the start over Irwin. Irwin’s confidence hopefully hasnt been shaken, but you can understand why if that’s the case. The number 1 keeper has now not started in the teams last 3 games. It’s obvious Pablo is either truly searching for answers or playing mind games, or both, but we cant be sure which it is. Things become more intriguing the week ahead when Nasco is available to play again coming off his red card suspension. Who will Pablo give the start to this week?
Deshorn Brown in the second half was the most aggressive that we’ve seen him since early in the season. He’s still dangerous to opposing teams just stepping on the field, but I would like to see much more of the same intensity out of him. He and Vicente Sanchez have formed some chemistry when on the pitch together, but unfortunately Sanchez wasnt available for this game. Both Carlos Alvarez and Kamani Hill played well on the wings of the 4-5-1, hopefully this will bring the team some added success in the future.
Next up, the third leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup with Real Salt Lake. Even though Salt Lake has already claimed the cup for this season, there’s still plenty to play for in this game. Despite the level of intensity having fallen off in the rivalry, it’s still Salt Lake and the Rapids should be hungry to try and steal 3 points on the road. Which should make for an interesting and hopefully entertaining match Friday night.
With 6 games to go and 6 points out of a playoff spot, the Rapids can gain ground this week with a win at Salt Lake. Let’s go Rapids!!!
Not the perfect weather for a home opener, 30 degrees at the start of the match but for anyone who was in attendance knows it was much colder than that. Luckily this time Mother Nature held off on the heavy snow. Today marks the 1 year anniversary of sorts of the Snow Classico when the US Men’s National team defeated Costa Rica at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in much worse conditions than today, but the potential was there certainly for the weather to get worse. Besides this is Colorado, when it comes to weather, anything is possible.
By now, you all probably know how the Rapids goals came about in this afternoon’s match, both on penalty kicks, so I wont go into great details of the game. Hey a win is a win and it was also Pablo’s first win as the new head coach of the Rapids, so a huge congrats to him!
Here are a few photos from today
An hour before gametime
Deshorn Brown penalty kick
Donovan Ricketts being carried off after his red card penalty and injury