COMMERCE CITY, CO - JULY 14: Tony Cascio #32 of the Colorado Rapids walks off the field after losing to FC Dallas at Dick's Sporting Goods Park July 14, 2012 in Commerce City, Colorado. FC Dallas won the game 2-1. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
What more can be said about that Dallas game? I already made the analogy to the origami swan when I said that the team folds whenever adversity comes their way, but honestly looking at things the Dallas match was just another 2012 Rapids game.
The Rapids had the possession and the chances, but they snatched at their chances a bit and it ended up costing them in the end as Dallas were able to nick a goal off a set piece and take the winner soon after. This Rapids team is just not that good at playing against a team who can score at their pace, which is unfortunate. All in all though, this is going to be another one of those player ratings where the Rapids get pretty decent points overall even though they lost.
I said before that had they won that Vancouver Whitecaps game, it would have been lauded as another success of the Pareja system. This is a similar game, except they ran into an in form Fabian Castillo and couldn't finish it up. In that regard, you'll notice the scores are mostly decent with small caveats. This team is really, really hard to do power rankings for this season as they tend to go hot and cold several times per game.
Ah, well. Moving on to the rankings...Scoring Guide
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
There wasn't much that Pickens could do about the first goal -- the lack of marking on Carlos Rodriguez made that one happen -- but he might have tried a better idea on the second. Still, Pickens had a decent game even though he didn't have an incredible amount to do. His save on a Brek Shea header late in the first half was lovely, in particular.
Luis Zapata - 5.5
It was a rather boring game for Zapata. Not much came down his side of the field as Dallas played mostly through the middle with David Ferreira and Brek Shea, but Fabian Castillo did give him a fit or two. Offensively he made some great stuff happen, though a goal never materialized.
Drew Moor - 4
Not a game that Moor will be putting on his solid resume. He held the line well against Brek Shea, but gave up maybe one too many scary opportunities to the big guy. Was one of the two guys who could very well have been covering Rodriguez on the first goal, but wasn't.
Marvell Wynne - 5
Wynne did a fine job all game long at holding down the middle of the pitch and used his speed about as well as it could have been used in that regard. There wasn't much he could have done about either goal, and he did hold down Shea a lot better than Moor did, all things considered.
Hunter Freeman - 5
It's hard to peg just what grade Freeman should be given. He ran about as hot and cold as anyone on the night. Brilliant slide tackles and offensive runs forward were coupled with boneheaded passes in the midfield and some lackluster coverage all over the field. For that, he earns the mid grade.
Jeff Larentowicz - 7
Perhaps the hardest role on the night was handed to Jeff, covering David Ferreira. In that regard, he was wonderful, keeping Ferreira away from any big passes for most of the night excepting the large gang of counter attacks late in the game when the Rapids went to full on attack mode. His passing was great as usual and he even came close to a goal several times.
Martin Rivero - 6
Rivero had a solid match, with some wonderful creativity and passing. His set pieces were just about as good as usual, unluckily nobody was able to get on the end of one and bang in a goal. Starting to get frustrating watching all of his shots from the top of the 18 sail inches over the bar. If he can fix that little flaw, he could have a bunch of goals very soon. Here's hoping!
Jaime Castrillon - 5.5
Castrillon was one of the guys I saw getting a lot of flak after this match, which is a bit unfair since he was probably the most efficient Rapids attacker in the first half. His second half wasn't great, but it didn't need to be at the start because of the solid game everyone else was putting out.
Brian Mullan - 4.5
For the first 30 minutes or so of the game, Mullan was a beast. After that, I barely even noticed he was there. This is not a very good thing -- when he and Freeman are hooking up it's a thing of beauty but it's less than stellar when one of them stops going full tilt.
Omar Cummings - 6
Perhaps it could be argued that Cummings deserved more because he got the only goal on the night, but I'm not so sure. That goal was great, but Cummings squandered so many more chances as the game went along that it became almost frustrating. If he can keep playing games like he did on Saturday, there will be no complaints though.
Conor Casey - 7
Didn't score, but looked the most interested player to do so after Dallas' first goal was scored. His passing was brilliant -- well, for Conor Casey anyway -- and that assist to Cummings was Martin Rivero-esque. He did his thing, he did it well and he was unlucky to not have a tally by night's end. Had they been playing against a keeper that wasn't Kevin Hartman, he may very well have considering all the service in the box he was getting near him that kept getting snatched away by El Gato.
Jamie Smith - 4.5
It was another disappointing appearance for Smith. I still think Tony Cascio should be taking the minutes that Smith is getting out there, even though it did seem like a smart idea to sub Castrillon at the time for the more visible Smith.
Tony Cascio - 6
Cascio provided instant energy and ability into the lineup when he was subbed in. I'm of the mind that he should be starting despite what worries Oscar Pareja has about his fitness. Until he proves he can't play 90 minutes, keep him in there -- his energy and talent on the wing are far too valuable to keep as a super-sub all match.
Edu - 3
Ugh. There's nothing left to be said about Edu, he's been simply awful ever since he joined the team. If there is a mistake that has been made by Oscar Pareja so far, it's his over-use of the ineffective Edu. Sadly, there's nothing to make us think that anything will change in the future with his lack of size and speed -- the two biggest needs for MLS strikers.