Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rapids @ Crew

I had my nose in a book too long and had to make a stop before catching the game in the 28th minutes. Speaking of things after that, in general the Rapids didn't have a bad game. It wasn't a possesion oriented match for either team. Not that we've come to expect Clavijo's Rapids to do much when it comes to holding onto the ball and working it around the pitch.

Bouna had a nice game other than his big whiff. He came out for a ball and gave us a glimpse of the ol' Bouna, somehow flubbing the kick. Luckily it didn't cost the Rapids. What frustrates me the most about this is that Bouna is very athletic. He's not trying to thread the ball inbetween a couple defenders for a picture perfect pass. He simply needs to get his foot on the ball and make it go high, far and out. Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me but the problem seems to be him leaving his feet to kick the ball. Come on Bouna, just plant a foot and kick the thing. I don't mean to overplay the incident in terms of the game. But you have to wonder why foreign scouts wouldn't cringe when seeing that sort of thing.

The penalty kick call was frustrating to see. That sort of a "foul" wouldn't be called half the time outside of the box. To see it called in the box, where referees normally have a higher threshold was confusing, to say the least. Normally I don't like to lay into the referees for the job they're doing. In this case I really hope that Toledo looks back at his call and regrets it.

Another key moment in the game was Ekpo's run that lead to his wonderful shot that resulted in the game winning goal. Ekpo got the ball and made a long, fast run down the middle left of the Rapids defense. It was the perfect seem with no one on the Rapids side of the ball willing to step in before it was too late. I suspect that had Ekpo made that run just a little more wide or just a little more in the middle we would have seen LaBrocca, DiRaimando or Jordan Harvey step up earlier to for Ekpo to make a pass or at least stop his sprint. It's easy to blame Harvey but it's not just his fault. One of the midfielder should've been on Ekpo earlier. I wonder if Pablo had been in his usual role of cleaning up in the midfield if he wouldn't have recognized the threat earlier and stopped it. Whatever could have and should have happened, what did happen was a simple, straight fast run topped off with a great shot while still going at speed. You have to give Ekpo props for a great goal.

Where was Christian Gomez?

The question for the Rapids is what are they missing? More time on the ball? Better runs? A striker with a nose for the goal?

Other Blogs :
View From The Couch published a letter regarding Clavijo's after game comments.
FC Rocky on the match
James at The Offside gives us a Crew fan perspective on the game

By the way, if you were wondering wear ex-rapid Nicolas Hernandez was last night, he was waived by the Crew before the game. More on that at American Soccer.

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