"First day in Colorado – enjoying life!" – @Kamani11
With dark clouds on the horizon and the threat of rain and lightning, it was potentially an ominous night at DSGP last Saturday night. Which Rapids team would show up? The one who got spanked by the cellar dwelling Chivas or the spirited team that played well against the other two Canadian teams (half of our 18 points have come from beating all three Canadian Teams).
Thankfully, after a tepid first half, Rapids came out swinging in the second, scored three more goals, and came away with the victory. Overall a good night with Powers getting his first two goals of the season (another PK!), Hill finding the net after a long layover (2012), and O’Neill ripping a shot at mid field to finish out the scoring. It was O’Neill’s first MLS goal (and he is now a proud owner of a new Xbox game). All in all a nice night, lots of smiles, and a step in the right direction. For the moment, let’s ignore that the fact that neither Brown nor Torres nor Buddle scored (and Buddle was subbed out late in the game with an injury), and that the defense, against a very weak squad, had some momentary lapses of defending to allow one goal (and have another one called back).
Not much more to say about last weekend's game and with the short holiday week, I thought I would provide some random soccer thoughts…
It has been week and half since the US Soccer world was shocked to learn that Landon Donovan is not one of America’s top 23 players. I respect what Donovan has done for US Soccer, but I think his attitude lately is somewhat suspect. At 32, with 3 World Cup trips, I think logically (if he could contribute) he should be on the roster. With that said, Klinsmann is no dummy; he has more at stake in Brazil, then any of the actual players. His legacy would suggest that with pressure mounting, he would swallow his ego, and add Donovan simply because Donovan has shown that on the world stage he can score. A score maker is sorely lacking on the current roster. With about three weeks to go until the first World Cup match, my guess is that "someone" will come up with an injury and Donovan will be added. Or maybe Klinsmann is just playing coy, I would bet Donovan is a last minute sub just to play mind games with our opponents. For a man who has scored 136 goals in the MLS, I believe Donovan should get one more farewell tour to cement his legacy.
Tremendous soccer weekend with the UEFA Champions match played on Saturday. Heartbreaking loss by Atletico. To carry the lead through 93 minutes, then get scored on, then to completely fall apart in extra time was tough to watch. Not so sure that Real Madrid deserved the victory but it is a testament to a team to keep at it. There was a statistic shown late into extra time that showed a couple of players had run up and down the pitch for the total of almost 9 miles. This link would suggest that for the sports listed, a player would run an average during any one game of 2.72 miles in basketball, 1.25 miles in football, 0.25 miles in baseball and a whooping 7.00 miles in soccer. Honestly for 90 minutes of sporting action, soccer is well worth the money! Come on people, love it!
And finally back to the Rapids, I would like to make my case for Kamani Hill as the little engine that could. Certain players appeal to certain fans. For me, Kamani Hill is one of those players, that fans should find appealing. In 2012 it was my second season as a season ticket holder and my first year as a member of the PID Army. Chicago was in town, it was the season opener, it was Oscar’s first match, and Kamani came in as a late substitute. He played for 8 minutes had 2 shots on goal and scored. His energy and enthusiasm were awesome. That first season he scored 5 goals. He was a sparkplug and whenever he played it was "Kamani Time."
Last season, for whatever reason, he fell out of favor with Oscar and played very little. In fact some Rapids fans probably forgot he was even on the team! Either way he has impressed Pablo and has found himself back in the mix. At 28, Hill has had an up and down career. His three years here a microcosm of his soccer career. A star at UCLA who went to Europe to find his fortune, got thrown around in the German and Spanish leagues for a while, before coming back to the States. He does have two Caps with the US Senior Team.
Every team has a couple of players who seem to have a tangible effect on the pitch. Not something that you can quantify, I mean his Rapid's career total below is not spectacular, but he isn't afraid to shoot. In his eight starts he has 3 goals and in his 22 games as a substitute he has 3 goals (including 2 goals scored in a rout against Chivas).
With the Rapids scrambling for goal scoring forwards, and with Torres and Brown both being called away with National team obligations, I for one hope to see more "Kamani Time." Enthusiasm and passion is what I pay money to see and Hill doesn’t disappoint. And just a quick couple of data points to send you on your way…most goals scored since 2012 – Brown at 12, Castrillon at 9, Moor at 7, Powers at 7, and Buddle, Cummings, Sanchez, and KAMANI at 6. Who scores goals with the least amount of time since 2012 – Amarikwa 1 goal every 54 minutes on pitch (1 goal total), Jamie Smith 1 goal every 131 minute (3 goals total), and KAMANI 1 goal every 144 minutes (6 goals total).
Numbers don’t lie. Kamani is a scoring machine. Imagine if he hadn’t fallen out of favor with Oscar last year. An entire year wasted. Please Pablo release Kamani and let it be Kamani Time, All The Time!