Improvement... just not enough to make a dent in the schedule. That's not what the Rapids were looking for going into this match against the short handed Houston Dynamo, but it's what the Rapids got as they drew 0-0 in front of a frenzied sell out crowd at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
The Rapids pretty much dominated from start to finish in this one. Possession belonged to them, they outshot the Dynamo by a whopping 11 - including seven shots on goal to Houston's none - and while Brad Davis did indeed play, his quality was clearly lacking in Houston's set pieces and passing overall as Jamie Smith filled the passer role nicely for the Rapids and set up chance after chance for the team downfield. Houston did put a ball in the net after halftime, but it was called back offside. Other than that, there was honestly not much to report offensively from either side.
Except, you know, that Tally Hall is a pretty damn good goalkeeper. His seven saves included a few that would be filed in the 'pretty great chances' category and he was almost certainly the man of the match. His counterpart Matt Pickens could probably have gone and taken a nap considering he didn't need to make a single save in the 90 minutes.
Quincy Amarikwa wound up getting red carded right as the game ended for jawing too much at Baldomero Toledo - after getting the initial yellow for whining at the linesman and fourth official after a foul went against his liking - once again proving that if nothing else, Amarikwa can at least find new and innovative ways to be completely useless. This is the third straight game in which a Rapids striker has been red carded, which surely has to be some sort of record somewhere.
Sporting Kansas City is up on Wednesday as the July From Hell (I'm trademarking this dangit!) begins its first real test.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Jamie Smith. Won the award at the game and for good reason, his service was as good as ever and most of the Rapids attack ran through him at some point.
GOAT OF THE MATCH: Quincy Amarikwa. Seriously, how does a late second half sub get carded for dissent not once, but TWICE?