Monday, May 21, 2018

Well, that sucked


At least I hope Saturday was rock bottom because if we're still falling I want to just impact and get it over with.  The team was outclassed in every way.  Out coached, out played, out hustled, the Rapids didn't belong on the same field as NYCFC, or any other MLS team this weekend.

We've lost 5 in a row while being outscored 12-2.  The last time we lost 5 in a row was this time last year, and that was by a combined 7 goals.  To find a 5 game run this bad you have to go back to the dregs of 2014 and that 14 game winless run which included a 7 game losing streak that was capped off by the embarrassing 6-0 beatdown in LA.

This team is a mess and I don't see a long-term plan for getting better.  We have multiple players starting that belong in USL, a coach and a high=priced attacker who can't get along, and injuries and fitness issues keeping our best players off the field.  This season is likely already over, 4 of the next 5 at home might save up, but only if we win them all.

Man of the Match:  Anyone who watched all 90 minutes of that match (I didn't).

Friday, May 18, 2018

Colorado Tries To Break Streak In A Tough Place

Rapids looking to swamp the Big Apple

Colorado takes an East Coast trip out to Yankee Stadium to face NYCFC trying to snap a 4 game skid.  Not the easiest place for a struggling team to visit as the New Yorkers are a top-4 team this year so far and their stadium presents some unique challenges to a team not used to playing there.  Kickoff tomorrow is an odd 11am start here  in Colorado.  The game is on Altitude and C38 will be meeting at the Celtic to watch the game before the Preakness (and after the royal wedding, if that's your thing).

Player Availability:
Injuries:
OUT: D Kortne Ford (L MCL sprain); D Marlon Hairston (right knee surgery)

Discipline:
SUSPENDED: M Jack Price (yellow card accumulation)
SUSPENDED AFTER NEXT YELLOW CARD: F Dominque Badji

NYCFC has one player questionable, otherwise they're at full strength.  The Rapids missing Price is going to hurt.  There's no good replacement for him on this team right now.  Since I've been out of the country I haven't been tracking who is likely to replace him.  I also don't know Badji's status but as it seems any injury of this teams knocks a player out of the starting lineup for a week or two I'm assuming he won't start.  My guess on what we see:


Gashi starting is more a hope from me, to give us some chance.  More likely it will be Aizra, or maybe Boateng in the middle with Serna at right back.  Regardless, this is not a great lineup to be going onto NYCFC with.

Prediction: 3-1 loss, goal by Mason.  This will be ugly and the Rapids will be outclassed across the pitch.  We'll get one but it won't matter as they will be the second best team tomorrow.  Honestly, I won't watch this one live.  Middle of the day right after getting back from a long trip and just before starting a new job, I have things I need to get done.  I'll try to avoid all spoilers and watch it a few hours later.

Back On The Rapids Beat


Sorry I've been quiet for the last week and a half.  I was in Hong Kong (seen above from Victoria Peak on Saturday) on vacation before I start my new job on Monday.  We'll get back to normal tonight with a preview of tomorrow's NYCFC game and the next week we'll talk about where the team is at after the first quarter of the season.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss


Starting players clearly worse than other players on the bench (or not in the 180.  Playing boring defensive soccer.  Multiple game losing streaks when nothing changes.  Is this the 2018 or the 2017 Rapids?  Saturday night in KC looked exactly like the Pablo-ball we all got sick of by mid-2015.  Kc should have won by multiple goals, so holding them to one is a positive to take out but right now this team looks a lot like the Rapids teams of the last few years with a bit more (largely unused) talent.

  • Kip Colvey is not a MLS player.  I know Serna has issues too but he should still be starting over Colvey.
  • Boli has been here 7 weeks and can't start over McBean?  Clearly somebody is failing.  Either Hudson is ignoring his talent or Smith signed a lemon.
  • Wynne shouldn't be starting over Sjoberg.  He's a decent bench player but there are better combinations of the back line that don't involve him.
  • Hey, Aigner, Hudson?  Get over it.  Its ridiculous that we're starting Martinez and just-arrived-in-the-last-72-hours Nicholson while Aigner can't make the 18.
  • The reason KC should have won bey 3-4 is that they had that many unmarked looks in the box.  On their one goal three different unmarked players touched the ball in the box before the goal.
  • I'd talk about our offense, but there wasn't much.  Badji had one good look that he curved outside the post, and he did a lot of the work to get that look.  Yeah, you want him to hit that shot but if our strategy to get points depends on Badji hitting his one or two looks he gets every game we're not going to see a lot  of points.  No team would.
  • After all that, Mcben actually had better statistics than Mason and Boli combined.  McBean had a shot and a shot on goal, the other two combined for one shot.  That doesn't mean I want McBean starting though.
  • Somehow Price has gone three games without a yellow card.
  • Somebody did the research.  Looking back at our last 10 road wins the 10th was in 2014.  We lost to Chivas USA, a defunct team, on the road since then.
  • Right now we're on pace to finish 1 point better than last season.
  • Until Hudson can wake up and actually put together a real MLS starting XI this team is going nowhere and likely won't be very entertaining while they do it. 
Man of the Match: Tim Howard.  Made a couple of good saves and not at fault on the goal.  Though to be honest it was really choosing the best of the worst in this one.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Cinco de Mayo en Ciudad de Kansas!


Yeah, that's about the extent of my Spanish.  After spending 4/20 weekend in Salt Lake the Rapids are spending the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla in Kansas City.  Let's hope that Sporting KC is playing the part of the French this week!  Kickoff tomorrow is at 6:30 with the game on Altitude.  C38 will be at the Celtic for a doubleheader with the Kentucky Derby.  There will also be watch parties at Blue Spruce in Centennial and Backcountry in Boulder.

Player Availability:
Injuries:
OUT: D Kortne Ford (L MCL sprain); D Marlon Hairston (right knee surgery); M Nana Boateng (concussion)

Discipline:
SUSPENDED AFTER NEXT YELLOW CARD: M Jack Price

No real surprise on the injury front, I'm sure all three of those guys will not be available.  The question is who's not listed that won't make the 18 due to injury.  No sign that the issue around Aigner has changed so I assume he won't be available either.  KC is also down 3 players to injury so both teams start out at equal strength.

(I'm guessing/hoping we'll be in burgundy and not yellow)

We could see our new guy, Nicholson, in place of Serna and Gashi in place of Blomberg and I wouldn't be surprised.  I expected the DisCo to suspend Wynne this week but I guess he got away with that kick.  I still think Sjoberg is a better option but Hudson seems to stick with Wynne.

Prediction: 2-1 loss, goal by Mason.  KC has a better offense and defense than us and we're on the road.  These are not good combinations.  We can hang with them but given our lack of mental focus in almost every game this season I don't think we're likely to get points out of this one.  The only time we've been shut out this season though was the debacle in Sandy, so I expect we'll get at least one.  Badji hasn't scored on the road yet so I'm going with Mason.