The new formation with Luis Solignac, Kevin Doyle and Vicente Sanchez up top were the "three-headed" dragon according to Rapids Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni. It didn’t get any better than the first goal in the first two minutes. The threesome were dangerous all evening
This new formation gave life to the offensive attack of the Rapids and they had many opportunities to score more throughout the match. Only a defensive lapse by Drew Moor and James Riley allowed the Vancouver Whitecaps hope when they equalized on Kekuta Manneh’s goal in the 20’.
The Rapids went ahead for good in the 56 minute when Kevin Doyle opened his account with the header in off the post. Finally a good bounce for the Rapids. Two weeks ago that bounces wide or off the post to a Whitecaps defender
Let us all hope that this offensive effort does not stall and they can use this match as a launching pad for the second half of the season
Here is how I saw the match
Clint Irwin (6): Clint was solid as usual in goal. He had no chance on the goal as he was protecting the near post when Mauro Rosales chipped the ball over his head. He was indecisive on one cross when he came out and couldn’t get to the ball.
James Riley (4): Riley sure took the wrong moment to watch the ball. He was just standing there as Manneh came by him and got the touch on Rosales’ cross. Riley can’t let that ball touch the ground. He should have headed it over the goal.
Bobby Burling (6): Burling’s lack of pace showed all evening. Vancouver was running at the back line all evening. If he gets a yellow in the next two games, he will have to sit for yellow card accumulation of too many. Hope he stays clean, the Rapids need his depth at the center back position
Jared Watts (6): Jared’s lack of pace against the Whitecaps showed all evening. He kept dropping of all evening. He was even deeper than Burling. A few plays, his being that deep allowed the Whitecaps to be on-sides and led to some chances that they should not have had
Drew Moor (5): One of the first things they teach you in soccer is to be goal side on throw-ins and corners. Drew was not goal side on Rosales and that allowed him to chip the ball across the goal to Manneh for the tap in.
Marcelo Sarvas (7): Being the right midfielder allowed Sarvas to be more active in the attack. His run in the second minute opened up the space for Sanchez to be so open in the box, getting the Rapids first goal.
Sam Cronin (7): Sam had a decent evening and wore the armband. Because of the new formation, he need to focus more on sitting in front of the backline. He will attack less, but will help solidify the defense more. Plus his Fourth of July outfit was top notch.
Lucas Pittinari (4): Oh Lucas. I would really like to say you had a good evening. Despite your assist on Kevin Doyle’s goal, you did not have a good evening. Pittinari gave away the ball too easily in places he should not give the ball away. Plus his yellow card in the 72 minute was a laugher
Vicente Sanchez (8): After his last start in MLS, I thought his days at starting were done. But the performance he had playing on top with Doyle and Solignac was amazing. He played 73 minutes and put the back line of Vancouver under pressure all night. It was great to see the wizard back on Saturday night.
Kevin Doyle (8): Kevin gets his first goal and it took a fortuitous spin of the ball to get it in the goal. Doyle took a good cross from Pittinari and headed it in off the post. That is not all, the ball hit the post and bounced to the center of the goal mouth and then spun into the goal. Doyle frustrated the backline of Vancouver all evening, drawing five fouls.
Luis Solignac (7): Luis gets the cross to Sanchez in the second minute to give the Rapids the lead. After that he caused some problems but made some bad decisions, including taking some poor shots on goal. I did like Solignac out wide supporting Doyle in the middle. It was a lot better than the way it has been. But needs look for some better scoring opportunities
Dillon Serna (6): When Dillon came on, the Rapids were trying to preserve the lead. But he did a decent job. Nothing extraordinary, but solid
Dillon Powers (N/A): Came on for Marcelo Sarvas in the 84 minute
Let me know what you thought of the match.