The final game of the 2013 MLS season saw Colorado Rapids drop a 2-0 decision to nemesis Seattle Sounders FC at Century Link Field in Seattle on Wednesday night. It was a disappointing end to a fantastic season for the Rapids and yet, despite the loss, the Rapids have to feel very good about the upcoming 2014 season. There will be some important off-season decisions for the Rapids, but for the next few days, the Rapids should be pleased about setting season records for wins and points in a season.
Here is how I saw the match:
Clint Irwin 7
Irwin has solidified his position as the starting goalkeeper over the course of the 2013 season and the Seattle match was more of the same. Made two saves and not much could have been done on the two Seattle goals.
Chris Klute 7
If Klute is not in the MLS Best XI all of the conspiracy theories about the Rapids will be proven. Simply: he is the best left back in Major League Soccer.
Drew Moor 6.5
The Rapids Captain was good the bulk of the night and his passing was good (83%) but seemed at times to struggle with the physicality of the Seattle team.
German Mera 4
How Mera got the start and played the full 90 I will never know, and although it was a tactical error to have him start, it is up to him to step up and play. He was not able to do that. His passing was not crisp and at times he looked lost.
Shane O'Neill 6.5
O'Neill was moved to right back on the night (in another interesting coaching decision) and was active moving up and down the right flank. Did well to help create chances, but again, why was he at right back?
Hendry Thomas 6
Thomas was very active all night pushing forward to help the Rapids offensive attack. However it is evident when a holding midfielder is so involved in your offensive attack that something is amiss. Took a very soft yellow card on the night.
Nathan Sturgis 6
The possession battle was nearly even and Sturgis and Thomas held their own against a very physical Seattle team. You could argue that some refereeing decisions were harsh, but that is not the reason for the loss. With 82% passing on the night, Sturgis helped to solidify his position as a starter going into 2014.
Atiba Harris 4
Much like Mera, seeing Harris in the Starting XI was a head scratcher. To see him play a full 90 minutes was a flat out stunner. Players play and coaches coach. Too bad Harris missed that message. He lack of speed and touch let him down on the night. One wonders if a speedier option (ala Dillon Serna) would have been better.
Martin Rivero 6.5
Rivero had one of the two shots on target for the Rapids but seemed tentative on the night. It was a general theme for the Rapids: they were not terrible by any stretch, but something seemed off.
Deshorn Brown 5.5
Brown had the other shot on the night, but you could sense that Seattle was intent on playing "Hack-a-Brown" to make sure he did not get good looks on net.
Gabriel Torres 6
Torres looked a bit out of sorts...whether it was the poor playing surface or fatigue, one will never know. But in situations like this you want your Designated Player to step up and lead the team. He did not finish with a shot on goal.
Vicente Sanchez 4.5
Not his fault, but why you play a guy with a fractured bone in his shoulder? That is on the coaching staff. Sanchez did his best, but he was not playing at his best by any stretch.
Buddle played 17 minutes and brought a bit of a spark into the match. Did not register a shot on goal, but it would have been nice to see him play longer than that.
Marvell Wynne N/A
Late game cameo for Wynne.