Defender Kosuke Kimura scored the tying goal to give the Rapids a 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City at Dicks Sporting Goods Park on May 19. (Photo by Michael Martin/Getty Images)
Watching from the Class VI section at Dicks, the first-half anguish was palpable. Groans rained down from the east stands as a putrid defensive effort stunk up the early going.
Two goals allowed in 14 minutes -- still napping from the DC game? -- gave the look that the lads in burgundy had succumbed to an Austin Powers-esque slumber. The culprit on the first goal was Tyrone Marshall, leaving Teal Bunbury wide open to knock in a point-blank header in the second minute. Then, on a long Kansas City throw-in, Pickens inexplicably failed to punch the ball and it fell to the feet of Bunbury, who slotted in the brace.
The second half saw the home side get up off the mat. First-of-the-year goals by Marshall and Kosuke Kimera completed perhaps the most bipolar Colorado performance in eons. The latter-45 revival, where the Rapids showed the grit and spirit that is supposed to be their hallmark, delivered a draw and may have stopped the team from slipping into a confidence abyss.
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 — 5.5
Pickens' muff on the long SKC throw-in cost the Rapids dearly. He played well the rest of the game and, thankfully, wasn't called on to make countless spectacular saves like the previous game.
Hunter Freeman — 5
Freeman, a right-back starter against D.C., was moved to the left side as Luis Zapata sat the bench. Freeman handled the switch capably and didn't slip up in the plays that resulted in goals.
Drew Moor — 6
Moor turned in his usual solid performance, anchoring a defense that improved as the game went along. He provided a couple of the Rapids' only first-half scoring threats.
Tyrone Marshall — 6
Marshall's gaffe on the first goal showed, yet again, his lack of pace to be Factor No. 1 in the Rapids' sieve-like defense of late. But the veteran redeemed himself somewhat with a clinical header that suddenly put life back into the park.
Kosuke Kimura — 6.5
Kimura returned to his right-back position after sitting in reserve in DC. He had a few clunky passes early on, but asserted himself as the clock wore on. His game-tying goal was the Kimura we've seen in years past -- putting opportunistic sting into the attack.
Jaime Castrillon — 4.5
Not Castrillon's best game by any stretch. He disappeared for stretches and only seemed to get into the flow in the second half. He had a few nice ball-winning headers, but otherwise a pretty mediocre effort.
Martin Rivero — 5
A big reason the Rapids don't have an identity yet this season -- you never know what you're going to get -- is because Rivero hasn't stamped his style on the game. He availed himself in a crucial moment -- flying a nice ball in to Marshall -- but otherwise is a 10-in-progress.
Wells Thompson — 4
Thompson got the start due to Brian Mullan's gimpy knee. Mullan hasn't been in form of late, so Thompson's appearance wasn't a detriment, but not a major enhancement either.
Jeff Larentowicz — 6
Larentowicz held strong as defensive middie, but needed to deliver some field general-esque verbal bite when his mates slumped in the first half. His worm-burner free kick had Jimmy Nielsen flailing, leaving the net open for Kimura's leveler.
Tony Cascio — 6
Cascio moved the ball dangerously down the wing, but too often didn't link up with Casey. The Cascio-Casey pairing has potential -- especially if Casey can lay touches in the path of Cascio's lethal strikes -- but so far they're not clicking.
Conor Casey — 7
Fairly active in the otherwise unremarkable first half, but some touches failed him. Casey's not quite match fit after the long injury layoff, and, thanks to the injury absence of Omar Cummings, he's not linking with fellow strikers. He delivered the game-tying sitter into the box.
Edu (69') on for Casey — 4
Edu looked lost for the first 10 minutes. Eventually had a few decent touches but still has a ways to go before being a needed up-front talisman.
Kamani Hill (79') on for Thompson — 6.5
Hill looked sharp in wing play. Hill plays hungry and backs it up with solid technical skill. He should get a crack at starting.
Luis Zapata (89') on for Cascio -- N/A