Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Deuces Wild in New York

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We have a revamped midfield with Jeff Larentowicz serving a suspension for last weeks red card and Pablo Mastroeni out with concussion like symptoms.  They are being replaced by the inexperienced Ross LaBauex and the erratic Wells Thompson.   Castrillon will be playing more of a recessed midfield position, but is expected to control the area.  It doesn’t work. Within minutes Ross LaBauex has given Thierry Henry a gift. A lazy pass was intercepted by Henry outside the 18 yard box. He has no trouble scoring. A few minutes later, Kenny Cooper put the Red Bulls up 2-0 with a dribbler of a shot, at a bad angle, that beat Pickens. For those of you keeping track, that’s two goals within 6 minutes.  Colorado may be in for a long day.  The announcer says the Rapids are “floundering”. Not the adverb you want to hear when they refer to your squad.

It is not until the 12th minute the Rapids begin to possess the ball, but it is strictly in the back. The attempts to get the ball through the midfield are easily denied by the aggressive style New York is playing.  The Red Bulls have chance after chance all built up through the midfield, but could not build on their lead.

Colorado’s pressure was inconsistent.  The formation and personnel was not working. Cummings, for the second straight game, could not be found in the first half. He clearly needs another strike partner to work off.

Rapids have a chance to pull one back from Jamie Castrillon’s head, but it was nicely saved by Ryan Meara.  Rapids have another chance off a free kick by Tony Cascio in the 41st minute that sails just over the bar. The first half ends….thank goodness.

I echo Alexi Lalas’ thoughts at halftime. Matt Pickens should have done better on both first half goals. I can understand the first. A point blank shot that could have gone anywhere, but the second should have been saved.

Eight minutes into the second half the defense allows Henry, of all people, to get behind them on a set piece from 50 yards away.  Henry buries his second of the game. This bad defending is by far the worst of the early season for the Rapids.

Colorado has done better holding the ball in the second half, but they are just unable to create any real scoring chances until Rafael Marquez gets caught holding the ball in the 77th minute. He is stripped by Castrillon and the ball falls to Omar Cummings, who chooses to use placement over power to beat Meara from 25 yards out. He caught everyone off guard, including me, with the great shot.

Colorado has given up on the game and it is obvious every time they go on the attack. There is no effort to finish strong and possibly carry over some momentum into next week's game. The attacks no consist of Rapids players trying to dribble through the entire Red Bull defense.

The fourth goal was simply a lack of interest on the Colorado backline. They were already on the bus. New York was pinging the ball around them on the right side while Kenny Cooper made a sandwich on the six yard line.  He had an easy tap-in for his second of the game and a few minutes later Henry should have had a hat-trick, but he couldn’t get enough behind his shot.

The game ends 4-1.

Today we stand 2-1-0. A great home performance followed by two dreadful showings on the road. Is this a Jekyll and Hyde team? I hope not, but thank goodness they will be home next weekend to play Chicago.

A day after the defeat, Colorado gets some good news. The Rapids received the ruling from FIFA that they are able to register Martin Rivero, the 22-year old Argentinian midfielder, to start playing with the Rapids. He has been practicing with the team for the past month and it is anticipated Martin will be able to bring some organization to the midfield.


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