I brought a buddy with me to the Colorado Rapids match against the LA Galaxy and he had a number of questions about the club as soccer is not his number one sport, but certainly wants the Rapids to play well. I was able to recap the season and the turmoil that the Rapids have gone through and let him know that the season just has not gone well for them. He then asked for my prediction for the match against the Galaxy. As I raised my beer I said these fateful words:
"The Rapids are going to score a fair bit, but lose it late due to poor defense."
Unfortunately, I was correct and our beloved Burgundy Boys dropped a tough decision that left players and fans gutted after the result. I refuse to lose faith in this team, but the reality is this: this is not a good team at this point.
Here is how I saw the match:
Clint Irwin 6
Irwin has a brutal stat line: 4 goals against with 4 saves. But that line does not tell the tale: his defense was atrocious for long stretches of the night and he got hung out to dry on the first and fourth Galaxy goals.
Chris Klute 4
Somehow and someway Klute absolutely lost Robbie Keane. How can that be? He is spectacular. Why don't you try and cover him on the first goal.
Marvell Wynne 3
Wynne was pretty good for the first hour but when Jared Watts went out with injury, Wynne lost his confidence and could not communicate with the replacement for Watts--Grant Van de Casteele. As the senior member of that defense, Wynne has to step up and be a leader. He was not on Wednesday.
Jared Watts 6.5
Watts actually had a pretty good game. He was able to make some plays in central defense and you could tell his impact after he went out: the back line fell apart.
Marc Burch 6
Burch had a gorgeous goal in the first half which should have been enough for the Rapids to hold the lead. He was adequate on defense, but trying to cover for an inadequate Wynne and the inexperienced Van de Casteele was a road to far for him.
Marlon Hairston 6.5
The rookie got his first goal of his career and looked very dangerous in the first half. He has deceptive speed and looks to be a solid building block going into 2015
Nick LaBrocca 6
A ho-hum game for LaBrocca. He was able to help control possession but spent the large part of his game drifting back to help the defense which limited his offensive opportunities and production.
Jose Mari 5.5
A largely quiet game for Mari, but like LaBrocca was forced to play for defense than offense in trying to shut down the Galaxy attack.
Dillon Powers 6
A beautiful corner kick from Powers that gave Buddle his 100th goal. He had the armband on for the first time and although I thought his performance was good as captain, I feel that the Rapids needed a more "in your face" type of game from Powers.
Edson Buddle 5.5
I am thrilled that Buddle got his 100th goal of his Major League Soccer career, but his defense leaves something to be desired. He lost Omar Gonzalez on the Galaxy's second goal which set the tone for the comeback. I know he is a striker, but if Buddle is in the box to defend, he has to do so.
Deshorn Brown 6
8 shots, 4 on target. Brown is almost too fast for his own good. He looked dangerous, but he has to start burying some of those shots.
Grant Van de Casteele 3
Welcome to Major League Soccer Grant. Please meet Keane and Landon Donovan. They are good. I do not in any way shape or form blame Van de Casteele for his performance. It is a little unfair to expect a rookie to come into this match and somehow stop two of the purest goal scorers this league has. He will learn from this. It was not his night, but it will get better.
Vicente Sanchez 5
Sanchez was completely neutralized by a leaky Galaxy defense which was shocking. He was brought on for the offense, and could not generate much.
Gabriel Torres 6
I wonder what Torres has to do to start. He must have pissed off someone along the way, because this is ridiculous.