What started as a boring match turned into a disappointing match for the Colorado Rapids. In the 88 minute and a chance to salt the game away, Dillon Powers pushed his penalty shot wide. The Rapids then held on as Real Salt Lake had some good chances, but in the end it finished with a 0-0 draw.
I guess we shouldn't expect more of a match that saw both teams only get one shot on goal each. The Rapids didn't have much of an attack in the first half but as the match progressed starting getting more-and-more of the possession. It felt to me that RSL was sitting back or "parking the bus" at home. The Rapids finished with a slight edge of possession with 50.2% for the match.
In the end, it probably was a fair result but it doesn't feel that way with the missed penalty kick. This was two points they left on that table that will definitely come back to haunt them later this year.
Here is how I saw the match.
Clint Irwin (7): Clint was strong in the match and made one save. He really wasn't troubled all night because RSL wasn't putting much on target. He made some well timed moves off his line to thwart some promising RSL attacks, including diving to take a cross that was destined for the back of the net if it made it through. It is good to have his strength and leadership in the back.
Michael Harrington (5): Harrington was physical all night and like James Riley was called for two fouls. He was caught upfield a couple times but recovered well. He put a cross in, but that didn't seem to trouble RSL. He had a bad restart that could have led to an opportunity for RSL.
Axel Sjoberg (7): Axel is becoming my player of the year for the Rapids. He is a rock on the backline who possesses the speed to neutralize the faster attackers. His yellow wasn't even a foul, yet a yellow. He and Burling were confusing to the RSL attack all day. It would have been nice if the ESPN crew pronounced his name correctly.
Bobby Burling (6): Unlike Sjoberg, Burling deserved his yellow but it was a good professional foul. He was strong in the back with Sjoberg and kept Saborio in check in this match.
James Riley (6): I liked Riley in this match. He was physical throughout the match, called for three fouls, and pushed up at the right time. He also put some good crosses in that troubled RSL. RSL tried to catch him up in the second half but Riley recovered in time to slow them down.
Marcelo Sarvas (4): It was good to have Sarvas back in the squad, but that was about it from him. It was a good runout and hopefully he can get back to game shape for the busy stretch ahead. He did well to shield the ball and draw the foul early in the match.
Sam Cronin (6): Cronin did well defensively on this match and had the lone shot on target, though it was straight at Nick Rimando. He was called for a foul that was lucky not to be a yellow. He did distrupt Luke Mulholland in the first half that probably prevented a chance on goal.
Gabriel Torres (6): Gabby had a decent game but was too relaxed with the ball in the first half and turned it over. He was pressuring as usual and I thought had a couple of throw-ins go the other guys way when they should have been the Rapids. He did put some crosses in that were pretty good, just no one make the run they should have.
Dillon Powers (4): At some point in their career all the greats miss a penalty kick. I just wish this wasn't Dillon's miss. He seemed off all evening, especially after going off with what appeared to be muscle tightness. Early in the match he had a big touch that took away an opportunity and a weak pass led to a turnover.
Juan Ramirez (6): Ramirez was one of the quality players in the first half and that is why I was surprised to see him subbed off for LaBrocca at halftime. He put in a great cross in the 25 minute and had several good sequences. He is learning that he can't dribble as much as he did earlier in the season. He just needs to stop looking and asking for fouls, just play the match and the fouls will take care of itself.
Luis Solignac (7): He put in some good work up top and drew the penalty that led to Powers' penalty kick. He was not afraid doing the dirty work on the hold up play, going up against two RSL defenders in the sixth minute to a dummy and generating an opportunity. We need him on the scoresheet now.
Nick LaBrocca (5): Except for trying to sneak one by Rimando from long-range, most of LaBrocca's touches were backwards. He did put a great long-ball to Solignac that should have led to a foul on RSL. But the shirt-pulling wasn't called. While he will give all for this team, I am not sure it was good to bring him on in this match, at least at halftime. I would have preferred Doyle instead.
Lucas Pittinari (3): Pittinari came on for Sarvas in the 62 minute and frankly he didn't do too much. He just wasn't involved in this match.
Charles Eloundou (N/A): Subbed on in 82 minute for Gabriel Torres.
This is how I saw the match, what do you think?