There is a lot of frustration surrounding the Colorado Rapids after Saturday's match. But if you put the emotions aside, how did the players perform in this match? That is what I will try to answer.
Except for not scoring a goal in the match, the Rapids were the dominate team on the pitch at Dicks Sporting Goods Park. They had 57 percent of the possession, the had a passing accuracy of 77 percent and earned 10 corners. With the possession, they had 17 shots, five of which were on target.
They limited the New England Revolution to nine shots, with three on target. One of those went in, one was blocked and one was saved. New England only had a 69 percent passing accuracy that dropped to 51 percent in the final third. The Rapids had 35 crosses to only 4 for the Revolution.
These stats show that the Rapids were controlling the play in the field. But the only stat that really matters went in New England's favor and that was goals. Until the Rapids figure out how to put the ball in the back of the net they will be the laughingstock of the league, no matter how well they play.
Here is how I saw the match.
Clint Irwin (4): Irwin regressed a bit from his first three matches and gave up a goal and a penalty kick. He only faced one additional shot that he had to dive to save. It was a great save. On the goal from Juan Agudelo, he seemed to be caught in no-mans land. He was playing off his line as any good goal keeper should and didn't know whether to close down Agudelo or drop back to the net. It would have been tough to stop either way because it was a great strike. Penalties are always tough and he went the wrong way. He just didn't wait out Lee Ngueyn long enough.
Michael Harrington (6): Harrington was caught cheating a little up field when the pass from Kelyn Rowe came in to Agudelo. Plus Bobby Burling didn't help him out either. He was able to get back but couldn't stop the shot. He did have some great crosses including the one to Torres in the first half and the one to Sarvas who headed it on frame but had it tipped over by Shuttleworth. His best cross/pass was to Sanchez that dropped to him in between two defenders. Harrington did get a yellow for a professional foul on Agudelo.
Bobby Burling (5): He was solid all game long. He possibly could have helped out on Agudelo's goal. He also left Harrington out to dry on a weakly weighted pass which caused Harrington to foul Agudelo and pick up a yellow card. His play also led to the penalty kick call. He can't get muscled off the ball by the forward. Charlie Davies just pushed him aside and was able to get into the box and draw the foul. A centerback can't get muscled off the ball by a forward. He almost scored in the second half, not once but twice. He put a header off the woodwork and then on same play hit a deflected shot that just went wide.
Jared Watts (4): Jared took a bad angle on Davies and he pulled his arm to give up the penalty kick, Davies really sold it though. If he takes a more shallow angle he is fine. Though soft, it was a penalty. He did a good job in the 9' on Davies when he dispossessed him just outside the 18.
Marc Burch (6): Burch put several great crosses in from the left. He also had some good interplay with Gabby Torres. He was working hard all match. He and Sarvas teamed up in the corner and Burch did get a good cross off. One of many for the left back during the match.
Sam Cronin (4): Cronin was rather quiet all night. He was subbed off in the 58' for Dominique Badji to get a more attacking offense in the match. Unfortunately he gave up the ball to Kelyn Rowe who got the assist on Agudelo's goal moments later.
Lucas Pittinari (3): I am not sure why Pittinari is in the lineup right now. He made a couple key mistakes including clearing it up the middle that went right to the Revolution player at the top of the 18. Later, he had the ball in the middle of the pitch and instead of passing it wide to an open Harrington, he tried to pass it through several Revolution defenders. From my view Harrington was open and with a number of Rapids in the box it could have led to a good opportunity.
Dillon Powers (5): Powers worked hard until being subbed off in the 66'. He had some good interplay with Harrington and almost scored in the first half. Unfortunately Shuttleworth got a hand to the ball to tip it over. Powers should have scored.
Marcelo Sarvas (6): Sarvas was quite active and should have scored on the previous mentioned header. It took a great save to keep the ball out. I still think he is out of position. If the Rapids are going to keep the 4-2-3-1, he should be in from of the defensive backs with Cronin. Pittinari should go to the bench. This will allow for a more attacking team.
Juan Ramírez (7): Ramírez was the Rapids best player all night. Contrary to what the referee did, he earned the penalty. He was also giving New England trouble all night. He and Torres are starting to work together and I think good things will come from that duo. Ramírez also put one off the post in the 74'. His ability to dribble fast and hard at defenders will help the Rapids this season.
Gabriel Torres (5): Torres was just plain unlucky all night long. In the first half he got in a good position on a header and just put it over the bar. One of the better moments was in the first half when Gabby was bringing the ball up the right and he was fouled, but not called. He fought for the ball with the two Revolution players, got it back and was able to get a good cross off. He missed a curler just wide at the end of the match. He worked hard throughout the entire match. You can't fault his effort, but he needs to score on one of his opportunities.
Dominique Badji (6): When he came on for Cronin, Badji immediately had an impact. He deflected a shot off the post within seconds of coming on. Later he worked down the right into the box. A nice outside hook to a shot that was just dragged wide. Working up top with Torres, he was a dangerous player for his 20+ minutes on the pitch.
Vicente Sánchez (5): He did some good work and nearly pulled off some great moves but just couldn't get the space. I would like to see him get some more minutes in games.
Dillon Serna (N/A): He will have sore chest this week.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours?