After ending the 2014 campaign on an 0-12-2 run, you could excuse the Colorado Rapids for feeling pretty darn good about a hard fought draw in Chester, Pennsylvania with the Philadelphia Union. Whereas there was some positive aspects to come out of this match, the bottom line is that the Rapids were ineffective offensively and generated a meager two shots on the day. None of which were on goal. Was there improvement from 2014? Yes. Was it enough to compete with the brutal Western Conference? Not yet.
A bright spot for the Rapids was Clint Irwin who was named Man of the Match by the Burgundy Wave readers by a large margin. Irwin was great on the night, and without him this is a loss.
Here is how I saw the match:
Clint Irwin 9: Bottom line--without Irwin, the Rapids lose. You should not rely game in and game out on your keeper to keep you in the match.
James Riley 6.5: A solid, if unspectacular debut, for Riley in Burgundy. He made the stops he needed to and looked comfortable on the outside.
Axel Sjoberg 6.5: The big rookie made his Major League Soccer debut and performed admirably. He did not struggle as many rookies did but still did have the occasional hiccup that will befell rookies in MLS.
Bobby Burling 4.5: I like Burling. A lot. He has the tenacity that was lacking last year, but if you are on a yellow you must be aware of your physical nature. It is lucky the Red Card did not punish the Rapids.
Michael Harrington 6.5: Harrington provided that physical play that was missing from last year and that was a welcome change. He could have pressed a bit more, but overall a good debut for him.
Marcelo Sarvas 3: I am going to be very tough on the midfielders. Yes, strikers are paid to score, but they need service from the midfield. The entire midfield struggled to keep the ball and whereas possession is not everything, you can't score if you have the ball less than 40% of the time. Sarvas, as the Captain needs to get the troops ready for battle. Offensively, they were not.
Lucas Pittinari 3: The promise shown in the preseason with Pittinari and his offensive game dried up pretty quickly. A poor game from the Rapids debutant.
Dillon Serna 3.5: Serna wants this game back.
Gabriel Torres 3: Gabby, it is not 2014 anymore so stop reminding us of it with your play.
Vicente Sanchez 3.5: He has a great beard though.
Dom Badji 3.5: One of two shots on the game for the Rapids. The other was by a defender. Badji looked like a rookie and did not appear to be the best choice to start.
Dillon Powers 5: Powers comes onto the field and immediately looked better. Perhaps, just perhaps, he should have started the match.
Shane O'Neill 6: I don't think that O'Neill was completely match fit or he starts. He will on the 21st.
Deshorn Brown N/A: Late game cameo for Brown.