Monday, August 30, 2010

Rapids Strike Early And Often

Colorado took a quarter of the game to knock Houston out on Saturday night, then spend the remaining time playing kickball. So much for my predicted 1-0 frustrating win. Less than 2 minutes in Jamie Smith took a through ball from Casey and put it past Dynamo keeper Pat Onstad for an early lead. The game was essentially over 8 minutes later as Palmer was given a straight red card for an elbow to the face of Pablo followed by a kick at Pablo while he was on the ground (Pablo also got a yellow for kicking). Up a goal and a man at home the Rapids had control. They finished off Houston with a Cummings goal off a Casey cross in the 16th minute and Casey finally scored on his own after Ballouchy's shot was saved right to his head while he was unmarked in front of the net in the 23rd minute. Up 3 and a man 23 minutes in it was game over. The rest of the match was spent making sure nobody got hurt and not over-doing it.

My key to the game was stopping Brian Ching. He was quiet in the first half, and the Dynamo use their 3rd sub at halftime to bring him out of the game as they ran up the white flag of surrender.

Other Observations:
  • Pickens got back spasms right before game time so Ian Joyce unexpectedly got his first MLS start. I was nervous but he did fine. The early lead probably helped him.
  • Not good to see Wynne going off with a hamstring injury, hopefully its minor.
  • Jamie Smith's best game as a Rapid. He lived up to the talk that the coaches have given him.
  • Casey should have made the score 4-0 in the second half but couldn't put a shot on net in a 1v1 situation. Not a problem when you're up 3-0, but you have to put those away usually.
  • Again the 4-4-2 made Cummings more dangerous and took some pressure off of Casey.
  • Some Dynamo fans are complaining that Pablo didn't get the same card that Pablo did, but I don't think they're taking into consideration that the foul itself was yellow card worthy before the kicking on the ground started.
  • Good results from the rest of the league moved the Rapids up to 7th this week and made it less likely that they'll be caught for their playoff spot. That said, we need to win the games we're supposed to win, we can't relax.
Player of the Game: Conor Casey. 2 assists and a goal made this an obvious choice, but honorable mention to Jamie Smith.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rapids Try To Power Down Dynamo Offense

Colorado faces what is almost a must-win game tomorrow.
They need 5 wins to have a real shot at the playoffs (despite what Gary Smith seems to believe), and their next 5 home games are against teams that are pretty much out of the playoff running. They also have 4 road games against teams above them in the standings. That all leads up to the final game at home against FSL, and we all know how that's gone the last couple of seasons. So we really need to pick up the 5 wins in the next 5 home games.

Game time at the Dick is 7:30pm and the tailgate starts at 5:30.

Injury Report:
OUT: MF Ciaran O'Brien (L hip sprain); MF Colin Clark (L ACL tear); FW Ross Schunk (R ACL tear)

Discipline Report:
TWO CAUTIONS FROM SUSPENSION: Conor Casey, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni

No change from last week. Houston only has two players likely to miss the game so they're at full strength. I'm going to stick with my lineup guess from last week:

Kimura - Wynne - Baudet - Moor
Larentowicz - Pablo
Cummings - Ballouchy - Smith

Honestly though, the way that Smith has juggled the lineup recently I'm not really sure what we're likely to see. Thompson? Earls? Who knows.

Key To Look For: Brian Ching. He's coming off a hat-trick last week and has been a Rapids killer in the past. Stop him and our chances go way up.

Prediction: 1-0 win, goal by Omar Cummings. It won't be pretty, and we'll probably be frustrated by the end of the game, but the Rapids will pull it out. If they don't I think the season, barring a miracle, is essentially over.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rapids Stuck In An Eddy, Part 2

Part 1 of this 3(?) part series is here. Part 3 is likely to come next week.

We've already discussed how Jeff Plush's interview last month was a clear shout-out to the fans not to expect any help this season. This week let's look at what the Rapids did to improve the team between last season and now.

We've added 12 players since the end of the 2009 season, from a variety of sources.

Trades Within MLS:
Quincy Amarikwa
Jeff Larentowicz
Wells Thompson
Anthony Wallace
Marvell Wynne

Out of these 5 players we got two starters (Larentowicz, Wynne), one possible starter (Thompson) and two bench players (Amarikwa, Wallace). In exchange thee Rapids gave up two starters Gibbs, LaBrocca), a backup GK (Burpo), and a handful of draft picks. I think Colorado came out ahead on the deals, though the draft picks make it hard to know the final cost.

Acquired Off Waivers:
Claudio Lopez

Lopez has been a solid pickup that hasn't played nearly enough (129 minutes in 7 games) given his impact on the team when he has played.

Lower U.S. Leagues:
Danny Earls

Earls has been what you would expect, a young player being challenged to move up to the next level. A good pickup but not one that's particularly improved the team yet. 1208 minutes in 15 games.

Youth Teams:
Davy Armstrong

Its great to see the youth teams start to generate first team players, but Armstrong hasn't, and is likely to this year, had an effect on the team yet.

Andre Akpan
Ross LaBeaux

A combined 59 minutes in 4 games from these two. They may be beneficial to the team in the future, but not yet.

Outside Sources:
Ian Joyce
Oscar Murillo

A backup GK who hasn't played and a on-loan defender who has already been sent back to his team. No effect.

You would think a team that's missed the playoffs 3 years running would start looking for new blood. Instead the Rapids signed 12 players, 10 of which were playing which the U.S. soccer structure (MLS, USL, college) last season. The remaining two players amount to an American looking to come home to a backup GK role after not getting playing time at an English Conference side and a on-loan defender that didn't play before getting sent home.

Outside the inter-MLS players the Rapids acquired the new players have played 1269 out of a possible 19, 800 minutes, just about 6%. The "improvements" in the squad the Rapids made have essentially been the other MLS team's cast-offs that the Rapids have managed to trade for. These players are largely available because their former teams have gone out and upgraded their positions, making them surplus. They may have improved the Rapids but at best that's allowed Colorado to keep pace in the improvements that other squads are making. for a team that's missed the playoffs they need to improve more than the other teams, not equally to them.

94% of the Rapids playing time is being covered by players that were playing for the Rapids last year or who were considered replaceable by their 2009 MLS teams. That's a recipe for going nowhere fast in this league.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crew Sink Rapids On Soggy Night

The Rapids continued their futility in front of goal on Saturday night. While they controlled much of the play in the first half only a surprising combination between Ballouchy and Mastroeni got them on the scoreboard.

The game started poorly, with the Rapids unable to clear the ball from their own end and Pickens being forced to try to stop a charging Eddie Gaven. Pickens missed the ball, got Gaven, and GBS scored the resulting PK for a 1-0 Crew lead inside 7 minutes. Despite some of my fellow Rapids fans, I think the PK was legit if maybe a bit weak. The Rapids would have pretty much full control of the play for the rest of the have, but it wasn't until the start of stoppage time that they could convert the possession into points. Casey took a goal kick from Pickens, passed it to Pablo, who worked a nice one touch 1-2 with Ballouchy and slotted it past Hesmer to level the score going into halftime.

Unfortunately for Colorado that was the highlight of the night. In the second half the Crew proved while they're at the top of the East and chasing LA for the Shield while the Rapids are hanging on to the last playoff spot. Columbus took control of the game and converted it into 2 goals. The first came off a bad back header from Wynne that Pickens misplayed, leading to an easy goal by Garey. The final goal was off a GBS free kick that found not one but two open Crew players to play head balls in the box for an easy 3rd goal and the nail in the coffin.

My key to the game was the ability to create and finish more than the random chance a game. That would be a resounding no, as Hesmer never had to make a difficult save beyond Pablo's goal.

Other Observations:
  • Why did Jaime Smith not start? Wingers of Thompson and Ballouchy are useless.
  • One of these days Gary Smith needs to pick a back 4. Right now it appears to be Moor, Wynne, Baudet, and whatever name Smith draws out of the hat. Palguta was the name this week, and he was burned on the play that led to the PK.
  • Taking Cummings of for Amarikwa was throwing int he towel on the game. It saved Cummings from a possible yellow card suspension but it was still disappointing to see.
  • Pickens worst game this season, considering how good he's been he's allowed one.
  • Cummings has lost all ability to shoot on target, which isn't helping with our scoring.
  • This was always going to be a tough game to just get a draw in, much less a win. Still Columbus made it look easy in the second half.
  • The Rapids are in the final playoff spot, but Chicago is only 4 points back with 2 games in hand.
Player of the Game: Pablo Mastroeni. His second goal this season would be enough considering the last 5 years he's had 2 goals combined (his only other goals both came in 2001 with the Fusion) but he did well to push the offense and keep control of the midfield, GBS was only a threat on set plays.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rapids Try To Swamp The Crew

Colorado stays back East this week with a game against the Eastern Conference leading Crew. The Rapids have won once in the last 9 games and could really use some points on the road in this one. Columbus had a midweek game in the CONCACAF Champion's League and has another one in the middle of next week. The game is at 5:30pm and will be televised on KWGN.

Injury Report:
OUT: MF Ciaran O'Brien (L hip sprain); MF Colin Clark (L ACL tear); FW Ross Schunk (R ACL tear)

Discipline Report:
TWO CAUTIONS FROM SUSPENSION: Conor Casey, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni

This is the best injury report we've had for a while. Clark's injury is a problem, but otherwise everyone who would actually be likely to play is healthy. The Crew also has 3 players unlikely to play due to injury. My guess on the lineup:

Kimura - Wynne - Baudet - Moor
Larentowicz - Pablo
Cummings - Ballouchy - Smith

Maybe Earls plays instead off Kimura but other than the only other possible change I could see would be Thompson, But the way the team played in the first half next week I expect to see Ballouchy back in the XI while Thompson goes tot he bench.

Key To Look For: Offense. Can we create and finish more than the random chance a game?

Prediction: 2-0 loss. I hate to say it, but the Crew are really good and right now the Rapids aren't. On the road there's a good chance the Crew score first and the team just folds.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rapids Apparently Stuck In An Eddy, Part 1

The last few weeks have been quite disappointing for Rapids fans. In the last 9 games the Rapids have won once. The transfer window opened and closed with the only moves being a trade for a backup defender and the signing of our first Academy product. Every other MLS team played a significant international friendly or played international teams in Superliga or the Champions League. Players like Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez, Omar Bravo, and Nevy Castillo joined the league. In all of this its hard to even remember Colorado is still in the league, much less get excited about them.

There are a number of subjects I want to cover (thus the Part 1 of the title) but I want to start with an interview Jeff Plush gave to MLSSoccer 2 weeks ago. I've held off commenting on it until now because I wanted to wait until the transfer window closed and see if the Rapids did anything.
There is certainly more of a race to sign players in the last few weeks, it’s really accelerated. I would love to see there is enough evidence that [such moves] would be competitive. We haven’t seen that yet. RSL is a prime example of winning without a Designated Player, without necessarily the highest payroll. You win with 24 players. I think it’s interesting chatter. But the clubs who are successful in our league tend to be clubs that have a team mentality, a team spirit, a Houston or an RSL.
Plush wants evidence that signing a DP is competitive. In MLS there are 3 major trophies, the U.S. Open Cup, MLS Cup, and the Supporter's Shield. Since the Designated Player rule was created, each of those trophies have been handed out 3 times. In 2009 the Shield was won by the Crew, with GBS as their Designated Player while LA was the runner up with Beckham as a Designated Player. in 2008 the Crew also won the Shield. Technically GBS was not a Designated Player according to MLS' books (since the Crew used allocation money to buy down his hit on the salary cap to under 400K) but he still had the same effect on the field and still used up about the same amount of room of the salary cap.

In 2009 the Galaxy, again with Beckham as a DP, missed winning MLS Cup by a missed PK in the shootout. In 2008 the Crew, with GBS, won MLS Cup over New York, with Angel as a DP. In 2008 DC won the U.S. Open Cup with Emilio and Gallardo as DP's. In 2009, still with Emilio, they lost the final to Seattle who had Ljungberg as a DP. So 5 of the 9 trophies were won by teams essentially with DP's, and 4 of the runner ups for those trophies had DP's.

This year there are 6 teams ahead of the Rapids in the standings, 4 of them have DP's. Only Dallas and FSL ahead of us do not have DP's. San Jose and Toronto, just 2 points behind us, have DP's. Chicago, in a battle for the final playoff spot, now has 2 DP's. Only DC, who signed Branko 2 months ago, has a DP and is out of the playoff race (KC signed Omar Bravo as a DP but he won't join the team until next season). 2 of the 4 remaining teams in the U.S. Open Cup (Seattle and DC) have DP's as well.

The evidence on the value of using a rule to sign a high-priced player is there if Jeff Plush wants to see it. Certainly early on there were mistakes made with the DP rule (Denilson, Landin, Reyna) but as teams are figuring out how to use the rule their success rate is going way up. The most recent batch of signings (Henry, Castillo, Marquez, etc.) all look to be very successful. Plush's comment that he needs it to be proven is just doublespeak for the Rapids really saying "We don't want to spend money".
We are essentially back starting the process again. The world has changed pretty dramatically for everyone. We are repositioning our proposition. It’s going well but we are kind of at square one again. We can move very quickly. Beginning of the 2011 season is likely. It would be very unlikely for something to close in time for something to be on the jersey this season.
Really? After almost 4 years since the league started allowing jersey sponsorships we've gotten essentially nowhere? Meanwhile most other teams (11 of the 16) have found sponsorships. Philly hasn't yet, but their in their first year. Kansas City is obviously waiting for their new stadium next season. That leaves New England, Dallas, and Colorado, generally considered to be the 3 worst run teams in the league. Its an open secret that the Rapids almost closed a deal with Chipotle last season, but apparently they had no Plan B when that fell through. There's only so much you can blame the economy for when the rest of the league is figuring out how to get deals done.
We’d be very keen to have Arsenal come over for a friendly but that rests with Arsène Wenger and that’s not what his strategy is at this point. We could get a Mexican club at any time, but our feedback is that that is not what people are looking for.

We are still talking to a couple of clubs [Colorado were in discussions with Valencia and Rangers before both clubs canceled plans for summer tours]. It’s more challenging than we would like. Some still view Denver in the hinterland. We do try to convince people that Denver isn’t in the middle of nowhere. It could be a mid-August timeframe and it would be a South American club.
Its obvious at this point that his comments about a possible mid-August friendly against a South American opponent was just a bone he was throwing out to take some of the heat off.

The idea that Denver is a hinterland in the eyes of the clubs is just so much BS I'm surprised we can't smell it from here. It wasn't a hinterland when Everton came here in 2008 and it wasn't a hinterland when they built the "world's biggest soccer complex". There's a direct flight every day from Heathrow to DIA and there's a British consulate in Denver, along with a large (fr an American city of this size) British population in the metro area. The idea that Manchester City won't come to the Dick or Invesco to play the Rapids because its the hinterland, but they'll play Portland of USSF D-II in a 5000 seat stadium is laughable. The reason that Inter Milan will trek all the way out to Frisco but won't make the 10 minute trip from downtown Denver to DSG Park is simple, money. Once again the Rapids try to get out of looking cheap by ginning up another excuse that they hope the general public will buy.

This was a disastrous interview for Jeff Plush to allow to happen in the midst of a 7 game winless streak. Plush essentially told the fans "We haven't done anything, and we don't care". Meanwhile the Rapids playoff hopes are fading quickly, in a World Cup year the organization has given the fans nothing to get excited about, and the rest of the league is leaving the Rapids spinning in an eddy in the river while they move downstream.

Part 2, looking at the player moves of the season, to come next week

Monday, August 16, 2010

Local Boy Makes Good For The Rapids

The Rapids game in Philadelphia ended much like Howe's Philadelphia campaign did, after gaining the advantage early on it ended in a draw and nothing really gained. Another 90 minutes of futile attack, one lone moment of brilliance for a gaol, and another failed attempt to hold a 1-0 lead led to a 1-1 draw for Colorado.

The first half was ugly, just ugly. We fully deserved to be losing at half and only Philly's inability to capitalize on our mistakes kept the game scoreless. The insertion of Ballouchy for Amarikwa at halftime at least gave the Rapids something to build off of, but for another game the final pass or final shot wasn't there.

The Rapids did finally break through off a Jamie Smith free kick. Smith floated the ball into the box and while Union keeper Chris Seitz punched the ball away it fell to Larentowicz at the top of the box. Jeff, who grew up in the Philly area, took the opportunity to hammer the ball far post and gave the Rapids a 1-0 lead. The team immediately switched their focus to defending the league, and as usual when trying that for more than 10 minutes, couldn't. Le Toux got behind the defense and while Wynne's speed allowed him to catch up Le Toux cut the ball back towards a streaking Mwanga. Baudet made a poor tackle attempt and Philly leveled the score. After that there were a couple of close calls but Colorado got out with a point.

My key to the game was team cohesiveness. Based on the first half of play I'd say we didn't even know the meaning of the term. Yuck.

Other Observations:
  • Quincy Amarikwa, no more. Starting the last two games has proven to me that he's not our 3rd striker option yet.
  • Where was Claudio Lopez? Why leave him on the bench in a winnable game and with a sub left?
  • Across the board the defense wasn't great. Moor probably had the best game but generally not good.
  • Kudos to Pablo for setting the team career minutes record.
  • Cummings had possibly his most invisible game of the season. He did pretty much nothing.
  • Jamie Smith had a golden opportunity to one-time a ball at an open net in the first 10 minutes, and instead brought it down and tried to pass to a covered Cummings. Why?
  • The Philly fans are complaining about the officiating at the end of the game, thinking that the goal called back for offside was a bad call and Le Toux deserved a PK. first, the goal was clearly off, there's no debate there. Second, while I don't think Le Toux dove I don't think the contact rose to the level of a foul; even in midfield, much less a PK. Plus the contact between Le Toux and Moor started outside the box so at best it would be a free kick where the foul started.
Player of the Game: Jeff Larentowicz. This is almost by default since nobody had a good game, but he gets an extra nod for not only going home as a pro for his first time, but delivering in front of his friends and family.

Rapids Sign Armstrong From Academy

The Rapids took an important step today by signing midfielder Davy Armstrong. He's a local player who is the first to come up through the Rapids academy system and sign for the club. Being classified as a homegrown talent means that Armstrong takes one of the two protected homegrown talent spots on the roster and does not count against the salary cap. Hopefully this is just the first of many (clubs can sign up to 4 players a year from their academies) signings to come out of the Rapids youth system.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rapids Try To Tread On Union

The Rapids get their first look at the expansion Philadelphia Union and their snake logo tomorrow. Given their location in the nation's first capital and the Revolutionary War ties of their logo lets hope our British coaching staff doesn't try to emulate the slow campaign of General Howe as he took the city in 1777/ Game time tomorrow is a early 2pm. The game will be on KWGN, and look for the small delegation of Rapids fans who made the trip East to support the team!

Injury Report:
OUT: MF Ciaran O'Brien (L hip sprain); MF Colin Clark (L ACL tear); FW Ross Schunk (R ACL tear);
PROBABLE: FWD Conor Casey (head trauma); MF Jaime Smith (neck strain)

Discipline Report:
TWO CAUTIONS FROM SUSPENSION: Conor Casey, Omar Cummings, Pablo Mastroeni

While the injury report lists Clark as questionable we got the official word today that he tore his ACL last week and is done for the season. Its the same ACL he tore 370 days before he tore it last week. Rough break for him and it puts the team in bad shape. At least we get Casey back. With the news, here's my guess on the lineup:

Kimura - Wynne - Baudet - Moor
Larentowicz - Pablo
Cummings - Ballouchy - Smith

That's pretty close to the 4-5-1 we used earlier this season, with the back line shifted to the left, pushing Earls out and moving Kimura in on the right.

Stat Of The Game: If Pablo plays essentially the whole game (87 minutes) he'll become the all-time team leader in minutes played.

Key To Look For: Team cohesiveness. We're making multiple changes from the team that figured out how to win last week, mainly due to players being injured or returning to injury. Can we pick up where we left off or will it take a while for everyone to find their place?

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Conor Casey. While this is an expansion team, its a decent team at home. We'll be playing in the heat of the day, and while we won last week I'm still not confident in our ability to carry any momentum on the road.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Our Long Local Nightmare Is Over!

Believe it or not, the Rapids actually won on Saturday night! They took a Rob Green-level own goal from San Jose keeper Jon Busch and made it stand up for the 1-0 win. While the scoreline makes it seem like a pretty even game, the rapids were clearly the better team on the field. Its just, yet again, the Rapids couldn't finish. The Rapids outshot the Earthquakes 15-8 and had most of the possession. Early on Colin Clark hit the post and Jon Busch made a big save before the gaffe off a Cummings cross that gave us the goal.

The one black mark on the game was Colin Clark leaving the game injured. In the 54th minute he went down without being touched and grabbed in left knee. He walked off the field under his own power but was carted to the locker room shortly thereafter. He was scheduled to have a MRI on his knee today. The left ACL is the one he blew out on Aug. 11th of last year, so cross your fingers that he didn't blow it again.

My key to the game was just winning the game. Check.

Other Observations:
  • Quincy Amarikwa is all speed and not much else. He has occasional flashes of brilliance but for the most part he's too raw to be playing for a team in a playoff fight.
  • Claudio Lopez needs to start, period. And not just because he took the time to give Class VI a thumb's up when the ball was out of play.
  • Koz looked much better back in his natural right back position.
  • Pablo was trying to fill that hole behind the forwards. He was often one of the two or three most forward players.
  • Glad to see Gary Smith realize that Omar can't start up top alone in a 4-5-1. I just wish we had a better backup forward to partner with him in the 4-4-2.
  • Ballouchy needs to figure out how to shoot. He had a chance to put the game away and blew it by barely even getting a shot off.
  • Pickens did a good job with a number of touchy balls. He needs to remember he's at home though. He kicked a ball out of play into the stands so an injury could be taken care of and nearly took the head off a fan.
Player of the Game: Omar Cummings. He can't really take credit for the goal but he was the most dangerous player on the pitch on Saturday. With little help from his strike partner he still threatened the goal multiple times.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Do Or Die Time At The Dick

Stealing a line from our opponents area of the country the Rapids face what's pretty close to a must win game tomorrow at the Dick. San Jose is in town and both teams are battling for the last playoff spots. Game time is back to a more normal 7pm. The Supporters Group tailgate stats at an early time of 4pm due to the homebrew challenge. Come out and check out what some of the fans have been brewing up!

Injury Report:
OUT: MF Ciaran O'Brien (L hip sprain); FW Ross Schunk (R ACL tear);
QUESTIONABLE: FWD Conor Casey (head trauma)
PROBABLE: DF Danny Earls (R groin strain),

Discipline Report:
TWO CAUTIONS FROM SUSPENSION: Conor Casey, Omar Cummings, Pablo Mastroeni

Believe it or not we're actually significantly healthier than the Earthquakes. They have 6 players listed as questionable or worse. The Rapids will have to play some guys out of position this week, my guess:

Wynne - Baudet - Moor - Kimura
Larentowicz - Pablo
Smith - Ballouchy - Clark

That's the XI we used against Dallas last week and I doubt we'll see a change with the injury report being what it is. Earls for Kimura, if he's healthy, is the only likely difference.

Key To Look For: No more keys. Just win baby. We're on a 7 game winless streak and about to go on the road for 2 games, if we don't win now when will we win?

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Jamie Smith. The Rapids still haven't proven they can win, and until they do the best I can predict is a draw. With the juggled lineup I think our goal will come from an unexpected place in Jamie Smith.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Stop Me If You've Seen This Before

The Rapids tied Dallas 1-1 on an own goal by Julian Baudet and a PK by Mehdi Ballouchy. Other than the difference in the goal scorers you can just read my recap of the Kansas City game two weeks ago to see what happened this game. Same result, same order of goals scored, same uninspired play.

My key to the game was being able to score more than one goal. Well we did! Only problem is that one of them was in our own net. As predicted, only scoring one on our side of the scoreboard only got us a draw.

Other Observations:
  • Winless streak now at 7 games.
  • Larentowicz of Thompson when tied 1-1 at home? Way to play for the win Gary.
  • Rumor has it that the 2pm kickoff on the last day of July was an experiment by the Rapids to see if TV ratings were better on Saturday afternoon over Saturday night. FO, consider the experiment a failure. I don't want to sit through another sauna like that unless its for national TV.
  • Rough that Casey wasn't even able to play after his collision last Saturday, hopefully he gets better soon.
  • At points during the game it felt like we were playing a 4-6-0 as Omar drifted out to his normal position out wide and nobody filled the gap in the center.
  • Koz is not the answer on the left.
Player of the Game: Matt Pickens. He had 3 great saves that preserved the draw and gave the team the chance (even if they didn't take it) to take all 3 points. Nothing he could have done about Baudet's own goal, he was surprised as anyone.