Colorado Rapids made their first international trip of the 2014 MLS season to take on Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place in Vancouver. Buoyed by two magnificent strikes by Jose Mari and superb goalkeeping by Clint Irwin, the Rapids brought home a deserved 3 points via a 2-1 victory and helped move the Burgundy Boys up to fourth in the ultra competitive Western Conference.
Here is how I saw the match:
GK: Clint Irwin 9
So I think Irwin closed the book on any possible goalkeeping controversy. Hands down, he was superb and put in a Man of the Match performance. Without Irwin, this is a loss.
DEF: Marc Burch 6
Burch was much improved over his effort against Sporting. He had an assist on the night and was more active in attack. His lack of speed is still an issue, and this will be tested in Toronto this Saturday.
DEF: Drew Moor 5
The defense was poor on the night and Moor got burned on the Vancouver goal. Not a great night for the Captain, but fortunately his backstop was spectacular.
DEF: Shane O'Neill 5
O'Neill started in place on the suspended Marvell Wynne in the center and looked a bit out of sorts. Ultimately the blame for the Vancouver goal falls on the two center backs.
DEF: Thomas Piermayr 6
Piermayr made his MLS and Rapids debut and was active up the right side as required, but seemed to have a little difficulty with the speed of the Vancouver attack.
MID: Jose Mari 9
The strikes were simply magnificent, both of which could be nominated for GOTW. But for me, the following stat was more impressive: he was accurate on 95% of his passes and was incredibly active as the sole defensive midfielder.
MID: Kamani Hill 5
Meh...Hill had a great opportunity to make an impression and a call for more playing time. He did not show a whole lot and needs to be able to prove that he deserves to be on the field. His yellow card in the first half meant a short leash and an early end to his day.
MID: Dillon Powers 8
Powers played on the outside in a 4-4-2 (diamond) formation and had a very good game. His passing was excellent. I feel that he is better as a central midfielder, but the possession stats favored the Rapids.
MID: Nathan Sturgis 6.5
Sturgis made his first start of the year and he seemed fluid and his passing crisp. However he does not suited to be on the wing in a diamond formation. Had the intelligence to lay the ball back to Mari for the assist on the game winner.
F: Gabriel Torres 6
Torres was better today, but still did not register a shot on goal. He is certainly not a midfielder and is suited to be up front. I liked him in a 4-4-2 better than as a lone striker and you have to wonder if this will lead to more PT for the DP?
F: Deshorn Brown 6
Brown had a decent game but needs to do better when presented with opportunities on goal. Registered a shot on goal on the night. Was pulled with 20 minutes left in the match.
Nick LaBrocca 6
Came on for Hill and was an upgrade. Helped to create the red card that changed the match and overall used his physicality to the Rapids benefit
Charles Eloundou 7
The day that most Rapids supporters thought would never happen finally did. Eloundou made his MLS debut and showed some of the speed that had been promised to the Rapids. His speed made the second goal possible and has made a good case for more playing time.
Jared Watts N/A
A late game cameo for the Rapids rookie.