The Colorado Rapids Reserves lost an exciting match to Sacramento Republic FC this past Friday and I had the pleasure of being at the match and got to see a lot of good (and some bad) from the Reserves. The term "Reserves" though is a bit misleading as there were eight players (John Berner, Jared Watts, Marlon Hairston, Gabriel Torres, Danny Mwanga, Thomas Piermayr, Chris Klute, and Charles Eloundou) who have seen time with the first team this year. It is difficult to properly convey how each individual player did, but I do have some general thoughts on the match:
1) Gabriel Torres--it was great to see Torres back out there (and wearing the armband) and he put in a decent and effective shift. He made some dangerous runs and picked up a great goal in the second half and could have had a brace late in the game. Torres did work well with his strike parter (Mwanga) but did seem to get frustrated at times when he was not able to put together the pass or shot he wanted. Torres seems to be lacking some confidence, but a nice 90 minute run out has to help and I have to imagine he either starts on Tuesday against Atlanta Silverbacks or Saturday against Vancouver Whitecaps.
2) Danny Mwanga--he was partnered with Torres up front and was able to (briefly) give the Rapids Reserves the lead in the first. He was able to use his pace to get past the Republic defense, but could have had another tally on the score sheet. For some reason Mwanga struggles with his shot--it is almost as if he is looking for the perfect shot. But you can have the perfect shot if you don't even try.
3) Defense Yikes--it was not a good day for the defense and in particular the Rapids Reserves goalkeeping. Both Berner and Joe Nasco (who started) provided some less than stellar goalkeeping. The game should have ended 3-2 in the Rapids Reserves favor, but both lads in the box had a tough day. The term "howler" could rightfully be used to characterize the goalkeeping on the third and fourth goals for Republic. That being said, the back four had a rough night all told. I did like seeing Gale Agbossoumonde and Grant Van De Casteele out there and hope that they can get more playing time as they both showed some good pursuit and shut-down skills
The Rapids Reserves are off until July 21 when they take on FC Dallas Reserves at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Admission is free and is a great way to see some of the lads that don't get a whole lot of time on the pitch.