The Rapids looked like the better team on Saturday at the Home Depot Center, though in fairness their opponent looked disinterested at best. Had Atiba Harris and DeShorn Brown not been so wasteful, the Rapids could have won comfortably. Here are some thoughts on the win versus Chivas:
- Announcers: While the broadcast is far more professional with Richard Fleming leading the telecast, I can't help but notice that his voice is pretty sleepy. Marcelo Balboa may need to buy him a beer or two before the games. Speaking of the Rapids' great, Balboa is still prone to repeatedly repeating himself over and over in a repetitive way. Yep, yep, yep. It can get annoying, and, for me, even a bit bothersome, and ya, ya, tiresome sometimes too. Yep. ...I've heard him do a good job in the booth with the right guidance from his partner, so I'm hoping these two will gel, and soon.
- Rookie watch: No, they're not all technically rookies, but the Rapids continue to play a bunch of very young players, and again there were some good signs this week. Dillon Powers, Deshorn Brown, Chris Klute, Shane O'Neill, and Clint Irwin all started. All five had rookie moments, but also continue to grow in confidence and look like they belong on the field. Brown demanded the penalty, and is clearly not afraid to shoot. Now if he would only allow himself to get an assist once in a while... Irwin stood tall on yet another penalty kick, and though he looked shaky on some crosses, he played well enough to earn a second straight shutout. Despite conceding the (weak) penalty, O'Neill looks more comfortable every game, even when switching positions. Both he and Klute were more active and played with more speed than I had seen previously. Klute was a bit wild at times, but he showed the growing confidence to get forward, contributing to several promising attacks in the process.
- Edson Buddle is noticeably out of shape. Compared to some of his teammates, he looks like he belongs in a "Legends" game. But this may actually be an encouraging sign as presumably the best is yet to come. Assuming he can get fit over the next couple months, he could be a force for this team.
- From their uninspired play to their barren stands, Chivas looked like anything but a 2nd place team.
Overall it was a satisfying win for a Rapids team that needs points. And not that the standings really matter when teams have played such different numbers of games, but with the win the Rapids are currently in playoff position.