As the final whistle blew at the Colorado Rapids heartbreaking loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, my phone buzzed. I glanced down, expecting it to be alerting me to the fact that we lost. Something I already knew. But instead, the official MLS statistics-keeper had changed San Jose's first goal to an own-goal by the Rapids Hunter Freeman. I groaned because Freeman had already had a terrible game but to make matters worse the Rapids' PR announcer came on over the loud speakers to tell the fans exiting the stadium the final score. He finished by announcing the fact that "the Rapids ‘Man of the Match' is Hunter Freeman!"
Really Rapids PR department? Couldn't you have given Man of the Match to someone who at least scored for our team?
Maybe ‘Man of the Match' now means the player who contributed most to the final outcome of the game. In that case, I would say that Freeman nearly had that honor.
Keep reading after the jump to find out who I thought the actual ‘Man of the Match' was.
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 - 3
I thought that our potential All-Star keeper made some amazing saves and was having another one of his patented great games. Until the last minute when he made the worst decision he could have to come off the line which resulted in San Jose's game winning penalty kick. We all know he could have made the save had he stayed on the line! If not for that Pickens would have been rated a 6 in my book, but that mistake is not to be overlooked for an otherwise great game.
Hunter Freeman - 4
Freeman went to the ground hurt three separate times in this game. Each one more dramatic than the last, with one at high speed that result in a full 780 degree spin. After each one I thought for sure he was coming out of the game, but he played the entire night. He seemed to have no regard for his safety and by the end of the match I was wondering if he was just diving and the refs kept giving it to him. But the game was pretty physical so probably some combination of being slightly hurt and trying to milk it for all it was worth.
Plus, he had a great assist on our one goal. So that bumps him up a little bit.
Marvell Wynne - 5.5
It's oh so good to have Wynne, the fastest man in soccer, back in the lineup! Sure, he wasn't as fast as normal...but I was surprised to see him starting the game and playing decently. He really helped to solidify our backline for (most) of the game, as I thought our defense had slightly improved until about the 75th minute.
Drew Moor - 5
Moor had a decent game, up until near the very end. As usual he played solid defense but the entire team kind of fell apart towards the end. Moor said after the game that the whole team needs to take a good look at themselves and decide if they're giving their full effort.
Luis Zapata - 4
I really wanted to give Zapata a higher rating. He earned two free kicks just outside the 18 yard box, which would have been penalty kicks had he been a bit further to the right. Both nearly resulted in goals, but in the end did not. Zapata also committed three fouls and earned one yellow card. His play was good, but could have been much more solid without giving San Jose some opportunities.
Jamie Castrillon - 4
Nothing remarkable or all that memorable from Jamie on Wednesday night. He committed two fouls, and played decent mid field to help create some opportunities. But nothing spectacular.
Brian Mullan - 6
Mullan scored our loan goal, his first of the season. He also had some great runs along the wings that created some opportunities near the box.
Jeff Larentowicz - 6
Overall, a solid performance from Jeff. He had a few shots on goal, some great defensive play and distributed the ball well. The only problem was that no one seemed to be able to actually do anything with the ball from him. I would say he is certainly giving his best.
Martin Rivero - 7
I thought Rivero had the best night of all the ‘Pids. The two free kicks he took near the goal off of fouls committed on Zapata were gorgeous and the first one only didn't go in the net because of a save.
Conor Casey - 5
Casey was all over the field. He really was pushing up top and allowing the other forwards to make something happen with the ball. It's great to see him back in the lineup, but he was fading by the time he was subbed off.
Edu - 3.5
Its a bad sign when you want to see one of your starting forwards subbed off the field before the tenth minute. Edu seemed slower than Casey (!) and committed some very poor fouls. He seemed to lack judgement and went down too easily expecting a call. Towards the beginning of the game he allowed San Jose to get a pass off and then committed the foul ages after the ball was gone. I hope Cascio or Hill begin in the starting 11 before Edu from now on.
Omar Cummings - 5
We should all be thankful Omar is back on the bench! He wasn't impressive, and it was an adjustment for our offense when he came on the field for Conor, but overall we should all be looking forward to him starting again soon.
Kamani Hill - 5
Hill did not play much, and I was confused as to why he was put on the field instead of a defensive sub like Kimura. Overall he didn't have much of an impact on the game.
And my ‘MAN OF THE MATCH' is......
Wells Thompson! - 10
Why? Well, he played about a minute and didn't do anything to really mess up the game for us. That had already happened by the time he came on.