Another home game and another tie for the Colorado Rapids. Last Friday night, they tied FC Dallas 1-1 after a late goal by Dillon Serna. Otherwise it was a mediocre night for the Rapids, fighting it out in the midfield with FC Dallas.
Neither side had many opportunities, each only putting three shots on target. The Rapids had 14 shots total while limiting FC Dallas to only 8. Putting only 21 percent of their shots on target is not a good sign, especially when you are at home.
I was concerned with the defensive selections when they were announced. Putting Jared Watts at center back and Drew Moor at left back were big questions for me, but they both proved my doubts wrong. For me, the questions on Watts at center back should be answered. This is his second straight match where he was pretty strong and didn't make any major mistakes.
This is a busy three weeks for the Rapids and I think we saw that in the selection of the squad. Having depth is good, but this is one of the matches they should have put their top 11 players on the pitch.
Here is how I saw the match.
Clint Irwin (4): He won't have many highlights from this match. Facing only three shots and one off the post, Irwin has had a lot better matches this year. I am sure he will be the first one to say he should have done better on the goal by Fabian Castillo. He was almost beat again by Castillo at the end of the match when Castillo put one off the post.
James Riley (4): Once again, failure to close out a player hurts the Rapids. This time it was Riley who failed to close Castillo down despite having secondary help from Cronin. He had a great opportunity in the box before Castillo's goal but decided to take another touch instead of one-timing it allowing FC Dallas to get back into position and stop the opportunity.
Bobby Burling (5): Burling was strong on the backline again and is solidifying himself in the starting rotation at center back for the Rapids. He stopped a great opportunity for FC Dallas in the first half and then dispossessed Castillo in the box with a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge at a critical time. He did draw a yellow for a professional foul when he was beaten on the sideline early in the match.
Jared Watts (5): Despite some angst from supporters and some questions from me, Watts had a decent game. He did make some decisions that got him out of the position, but he wasn't punished for that. He had a nice header off a corner but FC Dallas keeper Dan Kennedy was able to get to it first. He cleared a Burling tackle in the first half that was shaping up to be a dangerous situation for FC Dallas.
Drew Moor (6): Drew moves from center back to left back and performs admirably for the Rapids. He got the assist on Serna's goal and put several other good crosses in during the match. He never seemed to be out of position and had speed to control his marks. I am wondering if this is a one-off position for Moor or will we see more of him out here in future matches?
Marcelo Sarvas (4): Marcelo was missing for most of the match. Most of the passes I saw from him were going backwards. He was frustrated coming off in the 67' for Lucas Pittinari. But in reality he wasn't doing much from what I could see.
Sam Cronin (5): Cronin had a decent match but was part of the goal on FC Dallas. He got into secondary defensive position on Riley, but instead of being a little behind him, he was even. When he came into that position, if he closes down Castillo, I don't think there is even a shot. Otherwise, just a shot off-target for Sam.
Dillon Serna (8): What more could be said for Serna. He was active all night and scored the equalizer in the 88 minute. He took five shots and put two on target. He also took five corners for the Rapids. Most seemed to be pretty good, they just didn't always find a friendly player. He did have a great opportunity in the first half but put the ball widely over the net. It wouldn't have counted because the AR had flagged him for offsides, though replays show he was on. He just needs to put that on the net and see what happens.
Dillon Powers (5): Dillon had a decent, but not great game. He had a good opportunity on the free kick in the early part of the match that he put just over the crossbar. He worked well with Serna and developed a good opportunity in the first half. But when he was moved outside at halftime, his role seemed to diminish. He was subbed off in the 75 minute for Vicente Sanchez.
Gabriel Torres (6): Gabby was having a decent half and was subbed off at halftime for Kevin Doyle. He made a great pass that Serna skied and was offsides. He also provided some good defensive pressure. But there was a poor pass trying to come out of the Rapids end of the pitch that turned the ball over in a dangerous position.
Luis Solignac (7): Luis was the most active Rapids player in this match. He held up play when need and took some creative shots. But he only managed to put a weak header on target. He drew three fouls and seemed to be double-teamed while on the attack. One particular creative shot was dribbling across the top of the box and shot back across the goal. He surprised Kennedy and had him beat if it was on target. I think I speak for many, it would be nice to see him starting to put balls into the back of the net.
Kevin Doyle (5): Doyle came on at halftime and took the central attacking midfielder role. He managed to get one shot off and that wasn't on target. Otherwise it was pretty quiet from him.
Lucas Pittinari (4): Lucas had a typical Lucas type game when he was on the pitch. Not much. He had one foul, Blas Perez late in the match from behind, but nothing more than that. It would be nice to see more from a defensive midfielder.
Vicente Sanchez (6): Sanchez came on and did exactly what he was supposed to do. He changed the pace and created some opportunities for the Rapids. He got two shots off, but none on target. One of the shots he dribbled up the endline and tried to loft the ball to the back post. I like the creative thought, but in that position and time of the match, maybe it is better to drive the ball low across the goal and see what happens.
That is how I saw the match. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.