Well, it looks like many of the predictions for the DC United - Colorado Rapids matchup were correct!
For a while though it looked like maybe the Rapids would get the better of DC United and sweep the series, but alas, it was not to be. DC United by the statistics looked the better team of the two. And we'll go through those numbers in a moment. But just to give the briefest account of what happened.
Colorado got the opening goal off a free kick scramble in the box eventually won by stalwart ironman Drew Moor. It took DC Unitied a little while, but eventually the consistent pressure proved to be too much and the Rapids conceded a penalty kick which resulted in the United equalizer.
Now let's get to the nitty gritty, and how the Rapids stacked up against UZ's three Keys to the game. We're doing this by the numbers, folks. Meet me after the jump and you'll see what's up
The three Keys:
Conor Casey: Casey got a few good minutes in the game, and a great chest pass to create a good chance, but he wasn't the force that decided the game for Colorado. Yes he looked good. He looked like Conor. But Mr. Clutch was unable to pull another goal out. Perhaps it is due to the lack of Omar Cummings in the lineup. When a partnership between strikers has been forged in as much fire and flame as Casey and Cummings, it's hard to simply replicate that with any other combination.
Though I must say, Andre Akpan and Quincy Amarikwa are not too far off the mark. You can see the two sometimes struggling to gel together, especially in the beginning of the match, but once they got a flow and understanding going there were some very bright moments between the two.
But Casey, overall, did not have the impact necessary to win the game.
Forget About the Last Match: Oddly enough, this game went very much like the last match, with the Rapids pulling out the first goal, then giving up an equalizer later in the game. However, the Rapids did not unleash the corresponding torrent of goals, which would have made this game a carbon copy of the last one. In many ways, this game DID look like the last one: with DC United enjoying a majority of the possession, scoring opportunities, and completed passes.
I'm glad the Rapids pulled out a draw and got the better of the series, especially considering the stats on this game. These numbers are fairly ugly for the Rapids, so you may want to look away.
Posession: This is the only matter in which I can truly say the Rapids definitively did not match up. Colorado retained 47% of the possession, while United had the corresponding 53%. The Rapids were also dominated in passing accuracy, attempts on goal, shots on target...
Not pretty. BUT the Rapids did manage to keep their fouls lower, whereas DC United committed more than double the fouls of Colorado (15-7). Still, Colorado managed to pick up the only two Yellow Cards of the match.
Drew Moor was very, very lucky to not have been Red Carded early in the game when Dax McCarty went down. Moor being the last defender, he could very easily have been given the red as opposed to the yellow. But McCarty must have gone down too easy for referee Terry Vaughn's liking. However, this is not to say anything against Drew Moor. He was, for me, the Man of the Match.
Man of the Match: Drew Moor.
Yes, he scored the only goal, but that's not exactly why he's getting the nod here. He was excellent in organizing his defense, and was quick to get himself involved in almost every situation that evolved down the left side. He and Jamie Smith also coordinated their positioning well: at some points, Drew would go ahead of Jamie and other times they would reverse. Excellent understanding between the two.
Honorable Mention: Pablo Mastroeni
Honestly, if Bob Bradley was there to evaluate Charlie Davies, that was a lost cause. BUT if he was there looking for a Left Back/Center Back... Drew Moor.