The first game of the season for any professional sports team is never a pretty affair. You rarely see the "perfect game" from a team as you would rather them to be peaking around playoff time then in week one. Yes, there are some great individual games that will be produced, and week one of the 20th Major League Soccer season gave us some good games. Unfortunately, the Colorado Rapids at Philadelphia Union match was not a good game. It was ugly and physical and there were few chances that presented themselves for either team. The stat line for this match:
|Shots||SOG||BS||POSS||TP||PA||Opponent Shots||Opponent SOG|
|at Philadelphia Union||2||0||0||37.9%||319||64%||16||4|
SOG: Shots on Goal. BS: Blocked Shots. POSS: Possession. TP: Total Passes. PA: Passing Accuracy.
What can be taken from this match:
The Good: It has been said over and over again, and his importance was brought up again in this terrific article by @rapidsrabbi on Tuesday, but Clint Irwin far and away is the Good from this match. Over the course of a season, a goalkeeper will need to steal a point or two to be successful, but with the offense offensive this week, Irwin had to be at his best. He made four stops on the night to record the first clean sheet for the Rapids since July of 2014 and he picked up a save of the week nomination. Irwin in the starter on this team. End. Of. Discussion.
The Bad: It was a putrid offensive display from the Rapids and they put only two shots on the board. Their passing was terrible and they strung together 183 fewer passes then the Union. The midfield was just......off......on this day. I don't know if it was the conditions or a symptom of playing on the road, but what they did was not good enough.
The Ugly (sort of): For as ugly as this match was, the Rapids were able to grab a point on the road. This is not something they were capable of last year and that needs to be commended. This is truly a work in progress and there is going to be some ugly soccer no matter how much we want beautiful and flowing ball. That being said: the Rapids are 0-12-3 in their last 15 and getting a victory at their home opener will be critical.
The Rapids have a bye week this week which should help them iron out some of the kinks that are still there and get fit (Juan Ramirez is nursing a hammy injury):
Juan Ramirez still dealing with hamstring issue. Team doesn't want to rush him back/risk re-injuring it. #Rapids96— Marco Cummings (@Marco_Cummings) March 10, 2015
The Rapids next hit the pitch on March 21 at 2PM to take on New York City FC at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.