After not scoring a goal in the previous four matches, the floodgates opened up for the Rapids. It was nice to see and I think everyone was quite relieved. You could tell it on the faces of the Rapids players and staff, this win felt good.
The defense was strong, earning a fourth clean sheet in the short season. FC Dallas never really had much space or time to get any quality shots off. What shots they did get off, Clint Irwin was easily able to save them.
Here is how I saw the match:
Clint Irwin (8): Irwin is owning the box right now. Four of his five matches have ended in a clean sheet for him. A goal keeper can't ask for much more. His defense is playing well in front of him, all the shots were clearly visible, and he was able to knock them away with ease. There seemed to be some communication problems between Irwin and defense, but the defense did the right thing and cleared the ball. The communication will come with time.
James Riley (7): Riley was strong throughout the match. He was getting up and down the line throughout the entire match. He started the passing sequence that led to Badji's goal in the first couple minutes of the match.
Bobby Burling (7): Burling was strong once again in the middle of the defensive. He was one of the four that kept the attacking players of FC Dallas in check. A play that stood out to me was when he slipped in the second half, he kept his concentration and was still able to get his head on the ball and away from trouble.
Drew Moor (7): It was nice to have the Captain back in the lineup. He returned in the form that we all know. I couldn't tell that he had knee surgery 8 months ago. He played quite well, had the speed to track back and keep FC Dallas in check. His header in the box over Blas Pérez was well timed, he just went up and won the ball. There was no foul like the commentators on Univision were calling for.
Michael Harrington (7): Harrington had a better game than I feel he has had in a while. He had great defensive stretches in the first half. He did a great job of tracking up and down the pitch when he needed to but he was never out of position. He is giving the Rapids flexibility that was needed, his ability to play either right or left back is a big benefit.
Lucas Pittinari (7): Pittinari was rock solid, but a quiet defender. It has taken me a while to see what he is doing on the pitch, but he is really clogging things up in the midfield. He made a good defensive play in the first half, but if you watch the match you will see he did a good job of getting in the passing lanes, disrupting what FC Dallas was trying to do. It was particularly noticeable in the second half.
Marcelo Sarvas (6): There were good moments and bad moments for Marcelo during this match. Sometimes he seemed like a defensive midfielder and other times he was an attacking midfielder. But there were several bad touches and passes that led to turnovers. I think the worst moment was the foul right before Dillon Powers scored his goal in the first half. Yes it was a foul, but all the rolling around on the ground was uncalled for. It is not needed in the game.
Gabriel Torres (9): If it wasn't for Powers' night, Gabby would have been my "Man of the Match." He had the touch pass that freed Powers up the right to cross to Badji, using his skills he won a lot of one-on-one match ups and at least one-on-three matchup. He scored a nice goal, which was a long time coming. Gabby also high pressured the ball throughout the match and that led to several turnovers. He looked so much better on the wing instead of being the lone-striker. I hope he stays there.
Dillon Powers (10): What more can be said. He had an assist and a goal but if they were giving out secondary assists like in hockey, he would have had another assist. Powers started the sequence for the third goal by chasing down the ball on the left side of the box and crossing it back to Juan Ramírez who passed to Gabby for the third goal. His cross to Badji for the first goal could not have been placed any better if he would have carried it there. The way it dropped in should be used to teach younger players how to cross the ball.
Juan Ramírez (8): Ramírez played hard again throughout the night and made great plays. He gets credit for the assist to Torres and made the pass fighting off a couple FC Dallas players. He served in a couple of corners including have one drop right on the six yard box in the middle of the goal. How a Rapids player didn't get a foot on it, but a FC Dallas player almost put it in the back of the net.
Dominique Badji (9): Badji was in the right place all night. He made a great run between the two center-backs for FC Dallas to get on the end of the Powers cross and was able to get 2 more shots on target after the goal. He had another breakaway, but just couldn't get it over the center-back. He also did a quality job of pressuring FC Dallas defenders and midfielders and created turnovers. He is growing into the roll as striker quite well.
Nick LaBrocca (7): LaBrocca came on in the 72' and was rather quiet on the right. He had a great play where he slipped but was able to maintain possession of the ball. He helped solidify the midfield once the game was 3-0.
Dillon Serna (9): I usually don't rate players who come on within the last 10' of the match, but Serna's 30-yard wonder strike should be goal of the week.
Vicente Sánchez (N/A)
Those are my thoughts. What are yours?