Wednesday night was the kick-off for the Desert Diamond Cup which pitted Colorado Rapids against Western Conference foes Sporting Kansas City. As preseason matches go it was fairly entertaining, if not a bit chippy. A number of yellow cards were handed and that included a second yellow to the Rapids Francisco Flores which ended his night.
Although it was just a preseason match, the question needs to be asked if we learned anything about the Rapids? Here are my thoughts:
1) Marcelo Sarvas and Lucas Pittinari: The defense midfield pairing of Sarvas and Pittinari looked great. The Rapids had the physicality and "take no crap" mantra that they had in 2013. Both players were not afraid to mix it up and Pittinari in particular was impressive. He had a hand in both goals and looked quite comfortable in the Burgundy kit.
2) The Goalkeeper Battle: Not a whole lot has been said about the battle for the job as Clint Irwin, Zac MacMath and John Berner have an eye on the top spot. It is difficult to gauge which player is out in front, and MacMath did not have a whole lot to do on the night in Tucson. He did make a nice save late in the game, but could have done better on the second Sporting goal. At this point I have to say it is a toss up, with Irwin getting the nod--for now. This could most definitely change over the next couple of weeks. But whatever is done with this spot it is imperative that a decision is made and not have a repeat of musical goalkeepers that we had last year.
3) A Possible Starting XI Emerges: Possibly. Maybe. There were some signs that a Starting XI could be found and it looks like it might be able to compete in the very competitive Western Conference. I could see:
GK: Irwin or MacMath
DEF: Marc Burch, Shane O'Neill, Bobby Burling, Michael Harrington
D-MID: Sarvas, Pittinari
MID: Vicente Sanchez, Gabriel Torres, Dillon Powers
F: Deshorn Borwn
And if that is the XI, I would be pretty OK with it. Axel Sjoberg looked good as did Wes Knight for the Rapids, so those two could see time. And don't forget that Captain Colorado, Drew Moor, will be back in the first part of the season.