Saturday, September 11, 2010

Game Day Linkdump

A weekly list of things to read before game time.

The Mad Genius of Gary Smith - He's like a footy scientist

MLS Power Rankings week 23 - Despite passing Seattle in the standings, the Rapids are still 7th in the rankings

Denver Bid Meets With FIFA
- I doubt Denver will get the world cup, but that would be flippin' awesome regardless.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Defense is Looking Formidable... Again

The reason that the Rapids were able to keep themselves afloat earlier in the season wasn't the now new-found offense that the Rapids are currently enjoying, but one of the most stalwart defenses in the league. It's starting to look like after a bit of a hiatus, the defense might be back in business going into the late season stretch.

Drew Moor has been a solid rock at the heart of the defense all season long, along with Marvell Wynne. Both are fairly new to the team, with Wynne being added this season and Moor being brought in from Dallas for Ugo Ihemelu late in the 2009 season. Moor has yet to miss a game this season and has played all over the line when needed, showing amazing versatility while not losing any of his style even while being stopgapped around the back. Wynne has played at center and left as well, working out even better than Moor in some circumstances.

Julien Baudet's horrible start to August has been put behind him and in the past couple of games he has looked much better. New kid Anthony Wallace shut down Chivas USA in his first ever start, showing why Gary Smith brought him in for depth. Kosuke Kimura has been great ever since coming back from injury. Even Danny Earls and Scott Palguta have impressed in their short spurts from the bench in case of injury or fatigue. In short, everyone on the back line is getting hot at a good time.

The middle of the 4-4-2 that Gary Smith has been playing has been a double salvo of amazing defensive midfielders to bolster the defense. Jeff Larentowicz was good enough to grab an all-star berth this season and team captain Pablo Mastroeni hasn't lost a step in his old age and is looking primed to give himself the lead in the category of most games played as a Rapid of all time. You don't accomplish all of that by playing mediocre!

In their last three home games, the Rapids defense has given up a total of zero goals against. In the last five games counting ones on the road, they've only given up a total four. Depending on Marvell Wynne's health going into the next game, the Rapids might have the strongest line up on defense that they've had all season long. Even if Wynne is absent the Rapids defense will certainly be formidable.

They will be facing a hell of a test tomorrow as they face Thierry Henry and Juan Pablo Angel - quite possibly the best gang of forwards in the entire league - when the Rapids take on New York in the big apple.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Short Scouting Report: New York Red Bulls

Few teams have been as busy as the New York Red Bulls have been this season when it comes to adding players, specifically players of the Designated variety.

Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez have been thrown into the mix in New York to add to the already potent squad featuring strong players like Juan Pablo Angel and former Rapids keeper Bouna Coundoul. This experiment has worked like a charm, with the Red Bulls tearing up the Eastern conference since then and managing to latch on to second place. They are one of only two teams in the East with a positive Goal Differential with a +3 on their side. They only have two losses in their last seven games and only four since that July 4th game mentioned above.

Last time the Rapids met New York it was in hurricane conditions at The Dick on July 4th, before the Bulls had added all their new superstars. It'll be a whole new look RB's on Saturday in the eyes of Coloradans.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Check for a bit of history on Saturday

Not the kind of history like Colorado finally bringing home its first piece of silverware not called the Rocky Mountain Cup - although they can't seem to win that either any more - but just a couple of interesting historical tidbits that you might see happen if the Rapids can snag a goal or two or even three on Saturday as the Rapids suit up for a game against the Red Bulls in New York;

*Conor Casey's score against Chivas put him only one goal away from getting 39 as a Rapid, which would tie him for the most goals ever scored by a Rapids player with Paul Bravo. Two more goals and he'll break the impressive record.

*Omar Cummings will set his own new regular season record for goals scored by himself with one more tally at some point in the season.

*A start or even an appearance against New York - and it's pretty much unthinkable that he doesn't get the start! - will give Pablo Mastroeni the all time leadership in most games played by a Colorado Rapid, passing Chris Henderson.

Hopefully we see all three of those historical events come to pass, if only because that would guarantee we've put two goals on New York!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cummings wins MLS Player of the week

Via the Rapids facebook page. Omar Cummings has been voted the MLS player of the week by the North American Soccer Reporters.

Cummings had two goals scored in the Rapids previous game against Chivas, and also caused the other goal via a ripped shot that was put in on the rebound by Conor Casey. Cummings becomes Colorado's first player of the week since way back in June of 2009 when Conor Casey won it. Cummings last got the honor of being player of the week in May of that year, this is his second time winning it overall.

Naturally when questioned on his win, he gave some credit to those magical shoes that he switched into during halftime of the game; “My touches were bad and off a little bit. So going into the second half, I thought why not change my shoes, change my attitude and be more aggressive - take some shots and try to score some goals.”

Congratulations, Omar!

The Dynamo weren't feeling helpful tonight

Houston managed to get 16 shots on San Jose tonight and still couldn't score more than a goal on San Jose, falling 2-1 to the Quakes. This unfortunately gives the Quakes three humongous points to tie them with Seattle for fifth place in the West.

The Rapids are still in fourth place but the rest of the West is gonna have to start losing some games if the Rapids want to keep up with that tough rest of the month coming up.