A wonderful thing happened in Commerce City on Saturday night as Colorado Rapids figured out a way to score. Granted, it was against the woeful Montreal Impact, but nevertheless, the Rapids were able to find the back of the net. The 4-1 victory was a nice tonic for the previous two weeks when the Rapids were waxed by Chivas USA and dropped a tough result to Rocky Mountain Rivals Real Salt Lake. But is the result glossing over the scoring deficiencies that are still plaguing the Rapids? Or is the Montreal game the first step along the road to correcting the Rapids scoring woes?
Here is The Good, The Bad, The Ugly--Colorado Rapids, Round 13
The Good--Finally Some Goals
Not to put to fine a point on it, but the Rapids were struggling significantly in the most important of offensive categories--goals. Saturday night saw that problem corrected with a brace from Dillon Powers and two stunning strikes from Shane O'Neill and Kamani Hill. It was great to see all of the goals and for the Rapids to pounce on a bad team. They have had the tendency to play down to the level of their competition, but they were able to get the result on Saturday
The Bad--Finishing Problems
It continues to sound like a broken record, but the finishing has to improve and the strikers have to start putting the ball in the goal. It is great that the team scored four goals, but you really don't want them coming from a defender and the midfield on a consistent basis. I continue to have concerns about the ball being sent forward from the midfield. At times it appears that we want to push the ball downfield using the long ball and speed to get under it and start the attack that way. That is fine if we have speedy attackers, but aside from Deshorn Brown, it does not appear that we have the speed up front to play that type of soccer.
And if the Rapids are going to transition from defense to midfield to forwards, they need to have sharper passing and possess the ball more. Possession can be a meaningless stat at times, but if you are going to push forward you need to have the ball more than they do. When you have people like Edson Buddle (who is out hurt) or Danny Mwanga up front, they do not offer you the seed of a Brown or a Gabriel Torres. And if the Rapids are going to play that way, the midfield has to do a better job of getting the ball to the guys who are paid to score.
The Ugly--Injuries (but at a good time?)
It is never a good time for an injury, but the Rapids have some winnable games next week and will be missing a few key players. Torres and Buddle are out for at least the early part of next week and Vicente Sanchez is on the mend. They are key players in the offense and it would appear with two games at home and then one in Dallas before the World Cup break that the Rapids have a great chance to continue to add points. So missing those three is not as painful as it could be. (Imagine them being out in September or October)
The Rapids did what they had to do by securing all three points against the Impact and have set themselves up nicely for a points grab before the World Cup break. Those points are sitting there are ripe for the picking. Will the Rapids answer the call?