Douglas C. Pizac-USA Today Sports
Through three games, Deshorn Brown has proven to be an early contender for rookie of the year in MLS and is entrenching himself in the Rapids' starting eleven. But is he also the biggest goat of the Rapids' young season?
The Daily Wave is a slice of opinion from a Burgundy Wave contributor, released every weekday morning.
In the first three games of the season, Deshorn Brown has been nothing short of electrifying. He's often the most dangerous man on the field and has proven himself to be well worth of the Rapids' first round draft pick. He has blazing speed, has shown a feather-soft touch on the ball, and is surprisingly good at holding up play to bring the rest of the team into the offense. He's even provided some silky smooth passing, such as the assist he provided on Jamie Smith's goal against the Philadelphia Union. On top of all that, he notched a goal against Real Salt Lake that secured the Rapids their first point of the season.
So how is it that I also consider him the goat of the season so far?
Chris provides a weekly opportunity for Burgundy Wave readers to vote on the previous week's Man of the Match and Goat of the Match. And for the past two weeks, I have argued in the comments section of these polls that Deshorn Brown deserves the Goat of the Week "honor". The basis of my assertion is that in every game so far this year, Brown has had numerous goal scoring opportunities, including some that are absolutely gilt-edged, yet he has not converted at a high enough rate. And the failure to convert these chances is costing the Rapids points.
Now to be fair, I am not so unreasonable as to expect a rookie striker to convert 100% of his chances. But in each of the first three games, Brown has missed on at least one opportunity that a useful striker has to convert much more often than not.
In Dallas, that opportunity came in the 33rd minute. Atiba Harris played a long pass down the right sideline which allowed Brown to get behind Matt Hedges and in on goal. The angle from which to shoot was ultimately tight, but no tighter than the angle at which Brown scored against RSL. In the end, Brown's shot was easily saved by Raul Fernandez.
Against Philadelphia, Kevin Harbottle and Brown hooked up in the 83rd minute for a chance to tie up the score. From the right touch line, Harbottle found a diagnoal run by Brown into the box. Zach MacMath charged towards the top of the 18 yard box, and Brown tried to lob the ball over MacMarth and into an open net. The effort ultimately went wide left.
And in Salt Lake City, Brown almost grabbed a brace two minutes after his initial score. An attempted RSL clearance ricocheted off of a RSL player and back towards their own goal. This allowed Brown to charge in one on one against Nick Rimando. But Brown's shot was weak and right at Rimando.
The failure to convert these chances has cost the Rapids five points and leaves fans wondering "what if?" While there is no denying that Brown has been incredibly valuable to the Rapids so far in 2013, he's slowly gaining a reputation of being unable to finish. In order to shed the "Goat" label and place himself clearly in the"Hero" category, Brown will need to start putting the ball in the back of the net when presented with these prime opportunities.