It is often easier to write about the Colorado Rapids when they lose a match. When they lose you can usually look at a few areas and say this happened or that happened or if they would have done this differently, a result could have been had. But when the Rapids get a result it is sometimes difficult to find fault with the team, especially when the gut out a difficult victory, or tie on the road in a hostile ground.
This week is a little different. This is a week when a result absolutely felt like a loss. You simply cannot leave Dick's Sporting Goods Park without anything less than a victory over a side that has not won a match. You cannot leave without a victory when you hold that side to ZERO SHOTS ON GOAL. A 0-0 draw with San Jose Earthquakes left fans with a bad taste in their mouths and many mumbling, "what the heck was that?"
Here is The Good, The Bad, The Ugly-Colorado Rapids, Round 7
The Good - Another Clean Sheet
Clint Irwin faced zero shots on goal. Read that again, zero shots on goal. I don't care if the Rapids were playing the Quakes, but not allowing a shot on goal is pretty special. Chris Klute, Drew Moor, Shane O'Neill and Thomas Piermayr were very solid in the back and did not allow the Quakes any real room to operate. The Quakes averaged more elbows to the head then shots on goal and that is a credit to the four Lads in the back. And with all of the questions as to who was going to play where in the pre-season I think have effectively been answered with Moor, O'Neill, Klute and Piermayr back there.
The Bad - Seriously Strikers, Why Don't You Try and Score
Strikers, in my opinion, have one job. And one job only: put the ball on frame and score goals. I knew it was bad, but when I looked up the stats for the three recognized strikers (Edson Buddle, Deshorn Brown, and Gabriel Torres) that have had playing time, the statistics are painful to look at:
Edson Buddle - Four games played, Three shots on goal, One goal
Deshorn Brown - Six games played, Six shots on goal, One goal (off a PK he missed)
Gabriel Torres - Six games played, ZERO shots on goal, ZERO goals
It is bad enough when the strikers are not scoring, but they are not even putting shots on goal and making the opposing goalkeepers work. This must change or the Rapids will not go anywhere this year.
The Ugly - It Does Not Get Any Easier
The most frustrating part of this tie against the Quakes is that the schedule is pretty darn tough over the next three weeks. The Rapids travel to Seattle this week (where they have historically struggled), they then return home to play Los Angeles Galaxy and then make a trip to Buck Shaw to play the Earthquakes again (and we know how much they struggle there). The Burgundy Boys had a tremendous opportunity at home against the Quakes, and squandered it. And this looks even worse when you see what lies ahead for the Rapids.
The Rapids missed a golden opportunity this past weekend to continue to move up the table, but instead settled for a draw against the Quakes. They will take their terrific road form to the carpet at Century Link on Saturday to face a strong Seattle Sounders FC team. Hopefully the Rapids have put the disappointment behind them and are ready to play against Seattle.