Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rapids Predictions & Saints Relegation Fight

I'm not sure why I should be happy with the Saints draw today. With only 3 games left after their trip to The Valley today, they don't have much time to left to secure a spot. A point is better than none. Nevertheless, this is a team that in 2008 has only won thrice in league play. Their inability to put a team away when they've got them on their heals is unnerving. With Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday at home sandwiching a road game to West Brom it won't be a walk in the park. WBA is looking to win it all. And at this point Sheffield United could be going all out on the last day of the season to squeak into the playoffs.

As for the Rapids, they'll be playing the New England Revolution in a few hours. I hope Bouna and the defense step up in this match. Some positives can be taken from the Rapids coming back from 2 goals down on the road to tie things up. But at the end of the day the Rapids let themselves down defensively. For a team that struggled so much to score goals the last couple of years, they can't afford to be sloppy at the back.

Like Nick over at We Want Rapidman, I'm going to refrain from making any predictions other than at least 3 times during the game I will have the urge to pop Paul Mariner in the nose. I don't know why I want to; I just do.

Predictions by others :
The Red Card
"Colorado Rapids @ New England Revolution Prediction: Revolution 2-0."

View From A Couch

Prediction: 2-1 win, New England is hurting, and played in KC in midweek. Short of going to San Jose, Toronto, or FSL, this may be the best chance the Rapids have this season to get 3 points on the road.

My Soapbox (Rogue Cavaliers; yes, yes, I know....)

Rapids at Revolution
Talk about an interesting match up, this one holds more promise for me that any other of the weekend (outside of the RSL vs. DC match). New England have looked very good in two of their 3 matches and horrible in the match against the Fire. The Rapids looked great against the Beckham boys, and played well in a loss at KC. I expect a 2-0 Revolution win, and a 3rd goal of the young season for Sainey Nyassi.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tam McManus Joins The Rapids

3 months ago the rumors started that the Rapids were looking to sign Scottish striker Tam McManus. A month ago it was looking as though the deal was going to happen. But the deal has finally been done.

2007 looking promising for Gargan. He found himself starting at the right back spot. But his season was cut short when he incurred an ACL tear.

With the Rapids having filled all 18 of their senior Roster spots, the league limit, signing Tam McManus meant a senior player would need to be waived. Seeing that the Rapids didn't do that until today, when senior player Dan Gargan was finally healthy after his ACL tear, it's clear the Rapids knew they could delay signing McManus until Gargan could be waived. It must be tough being a player like Gargan going from looking as though he had earned a starting spot to incurring a nasty injury and finding himself waived after working hard to regain his fitness.

On another note, in looking for information on Gargan I found the Rapids had already removed his profile from their web site. For an organization that over the years dragged it's feet in getting information out to the fans it's salt in the wound to be so quick to remove that information. Given that I copied and pasted the cached page from Google to ensure it's not lost. Aquired: Selected with the Rapids' 3rd pick (43rd overall) in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft. Bio:

Dan Gargan saw his 2007 campaign unfortunately cut short after beginning the season as a starter in Fernando Clavijo’s defensive line, but suffered a torn ACL that put him on season-ending injury and left him out for the rest of the year. An explosive defender with a quick short sprint, Gargan has great knowledge of the game and an educated view of the field. A natural leader, the former Georgetown captain is always pushing his teammates and himself.
2007: Gargan started his 2007 season as a regular at right back…He started 11 games for the Rapids, appeared in 15…His season was cut short by a torn ACL…He went the entire season without receiving a card…Started and played all 90 minutes in four reserve games…2006: Made his 2006 debut playing 15 minutes on April 8 vs. Columbus…Recorded his first assist on Sept.2 at Salt Lake…2006 Playoff Highlights: Played 90 minutes in WCSS Game 1…Played 45 minutes in Conference Final…2005: Made his MLS debut vs. Los Angeles on June 15 helping the Rapids hold on to a 1-0 lead while playing down two men…Recorded his first MLS assist at Chivas on June 18…received his first yellow card and completed his second assist at Chivas on Sept. 24.
At Georgetown, Gargan was named to the All-Big East Second Team at the end of the 2004 season, along with earning Third Team NCAA All-South Atlantic Regional honors for the second consecutive season…Gargan was second on the team in scoring with 15 points off four goals and seven assists…Ranks 17th on Georgetown’s all-time points list with 40 points…Junior: Chosen All-Big East Third Team…Named Team MVP…Selected to NCSAA/adidas All-South Atlantic Region…Second leading scorer with 16 points and team leader in assists with six…Six assists tied for eighth in BIG EAST and three game-winning goals tied for fifth…D.C. College Cup MVP…Sophomore: Named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week November 5…Helped the defense post four shutouts in 2002…Scored an unassisted game-winning goal against Princeton to seal a 3-2 victory (10/1)…Freshman: Started 17 of 18 games…Ripped 21 shots on the year and ended the campaign with five points…Buried the game winning goal at home against Pennsylvania.
Trained for two weeks with Mexican First Division team Pachuca in Jan. 2007…High School: Named All-State and team MVP his junior and senior seasons at Chestnut Hill…Was league Most Valuable Player as a senior…Played for the Olympic Development Program Regional Team in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Was awarded “Rapids Most Improved Player” for his continued improvement on the field in 2006…His hobbies include drawing and art…Most memorable soccer moment was winning the high school league championship at home his senior year…Appeared on national television in a show called “Three Men and a Chick Flick” that aired on Women’s Entertainment Television in December 2005.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

MLS Original Players

Awhile ago I mentioned MLS originals, I mentioned Jaimie Moreno as one of them. I was wrong. Jaimie came in during the 1996 season, he wasn't with DC United to start the first MLS season. Tony Sanneh isn't playing right now (retired?) so that leaves Chivas USA's Ante Razov and Jesse Marsch as the only one's left. As you probably know, Ante had a short stint with Racing de Ferrol in Spain's La Segunda (2nd division). The only other player I could find that's an MLS original is Zach Thornton. He had a short stint with Benfica in 2004.

Am I missing anyone? If I'm not, it looks like they're the last 3 with Jesse being the last player that's continuously been with the league since it's inaugural 1996 season.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Ruiz Tackle

In case you're looking to see how it went down again, video below. Note that Ruiz was actually turned sideways (that is, it wasn't from behind).