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The way this one started it looked like the Colorado Rapids were going to roll over to the LaLa Glamour Boys again. Thankfully, Colorado shot right back with a classy equalizer and gave Becks and Co. all they could handle for the rest of the night. End result: An iota of a smidgeon of a sliver of a scintilla of a chance -- still -- at punching a playoff ticket.
It was just good to see Los Rapidos give the trophy holders a fight, as in outshoot, outplay and even outmuscle the SoCal Whiner Brigade. Evidence that Colorado came out to win this game came in the "Duels Won" category: 53 percent to the Rapids. Kudos, too, for the bald ref who never once fell for the flopping and arm-flailing antics of the Galaxy.
I would rate this one among the better Rapids performances of the year. Not quite as good as the thumping of the Timbers a few games ago, but certainly a quality team outing.
On to the ratings (and the hope for a Rapidtober Miracle):
0 - Awful, horrible, why is he even on the field?
1-3 - Poor. Why is he starting?
4-6 - Decent. Played a reasonable game, but could have done much more.
7-9 - Great game! Did nearly everything right with few mistakes.
10 - Perfect game.
Matt Pickens -- 7
Absolutely nothing he could do to stop Marcelo Sarvas's early rocket. May have saved the Rapids' season (if The Miracle is forthcoming) with his incredible kick save of Robbie Keane's shot in the 44th minute.
Luis Zapata - 6
Zapata generally played solid defense, but was caught ball watching on a pass from Landon Donovan to Marcelo who almost got the brace in the 20th minute. He had some nice forays down the wing offensively.
Drew Moor - 6.5
Moor was his stalwart self in the central defense, clogging up the passing lanes that LA had used to shred Colorado a couple weeks ago. Moor's header off a Jamie Smith corner was netbound if not for Josh Saunders' tremendous leaping save.
Marvell Wynne - 6
Wynne was superb in the middle as well, doing well to keep the three-headed monster of Donovan, Sarvas and Keane from breaking through (Sarvas' wonder strike notwithstanding).
Hunter Freeman - 7
Freeman delivered a standout game. I don't know if it was just Galaxy tactics to give him the space down the right flank, but Freeman made the most of it. His crosses were spot-on most of the night, especially the low burner that Jamie Castrillon blasted into the twine.
Jeff Larentowicz - 6.5
Larentowicz distributed nicely most of the match and got involved offensively on the set pieces. He nearly scored on a glancing header and did well to help neutralize Beckham, who was a non-factor.
Hendry Thomas - 6
Thomas often used his formidable strength to muscle the LaLas away from the ball and helped defuse many Galaxy attacks before they got started.
Martin Rivero - 6.5
Rivero was active and involved all night. If only he had a left foot, his penetrating, fifth-minute run down the heart of the field might have produced a goal.
Jamie Castrillon - 7
One of Castrillon's better games this season. He tattooed his eight goal of the year, finishing the superb combo work between Conor Casey and Hunter Freeman. He generally found the right space to be in all night and kept the Galaxy defense wondering where he'd pop up next.
Omar Cummings - 7
Cummings looked like the Jamaican speedster of old, zipping around the pitch and looking dangerous with the ball at his feet. He turned and shot on Galaxy defenders repeatedly, most notably in the 25th minute when he nearly beat Saunders at the near post.
Conor Casey - 7
Casey didn't get the ball in the net, much less get many shots off, but he was purposeful whenever he touched the rock. The Galaxy clogged up the middle, giving large swaths of space on the flanks, to keep Casey occupied. It's almost like they knew the Casey-Cummings pairing is coming back to life and they didn't want to be the first victims this year.
Joseph Nane (73) on for Thomas - 5.5
Not in for enough time to put a stamp on the game. Looked solid for the latter 15 minutes.
Jamie Smith (75) on for Rivero - 6
Smith came in and, as is his way, immediately pestered and penetrated in the offensive third. His perfectly placed corner kick met Moor's head for the Rapids' best scoring threat of the second half.