I just don’t know where to begin with the ratings this week. The Colorado Rapids started nine defensive players, including the goalie Clint Irwin, in a midweek match and still lost 2–0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Because of all of the defenders they had no attack. It specifically showed with the lack of ideas in the final third.
Two defensive errors cost the Rapids in this one. On the first goal, March Burch failed to close down Christan Techera who put a beautiful ball in to Octavio Rivero. Bobby Burling and James Riley just stood there as Rivero split them who headed it passed Clint Irwin. Rivero was close to being offsides, but as a defender you can’t take that chance.
Riley was involved in the second goal and made a mistake that kids learn in U8 and U9 that you don’t do. He headed the ball back to a surprised Kekuta Manneh. Manneh then fed Techera whose first attempt was blocked, but the ball got past Sean St Ledger and Techera shot it past Irwin.
The missed passes and no resemblance of anything in the final third also doomed the Rapids. All that they achieved in the Sporting Kansas City match is gone.
Here is how I saw the match.
Clint Irwin (6): Clint didn’t have much of a chance on the two goals, those were defensive errors. He had three saves, but nothing that was a stunner. Also the sweeper/keeper emerged this week in the first half. It was needed to relieve some pressure.
James Riley (1): I gave James Riley the benefit of the doubt in his last match, it was also horrible. But not this week. You don’t head the ball back into play in your own defensive end, two-footed studs up tackles just don’t work in this league anymore, and you need to keep playing and not hope for an offsides. I won’t try and figure out why he was backing up from the ball in the box in the first half. I was just speechless. Riley has shown in the last couple of matches that he does not deserve to be in the Rapids starting lineup.
Bobby Burling (3): Burling returned to the lineup after missing the last match due to suspension. He didn’t have a good one. He was involved in the second goal where he didn’t keep playing, instead he put up his arm. He needs to make the play and not rely on the referee or the assistant referee to make the call for you.
Sean St Ledger (5): St Ledger was once again one of the bright spots on the back line. He was able to block the first shot of Techera, but an unfortunate bounce put the ball behind him and that allowed Techera to score.
Marc Burch (2): A couple bad fouls, one when the ball was going out-of-bounds and the other as the player was running into the corner away from goal. He also failed to close down Techera on the first goal, which I think was related to having a yellow and not wanting Techera to get by him. Before the yellow, he was getting forward and helping with the attack. His out-swinging corners were ineffective, too high and the Rapids players were moving away from goal, not good on corners.
Lucas Pittinari (4): Pittinari started for the first time in a while and it showed. He had an okay match, but nothing too extraordinary. He did draw three fouls. He did have some horrible passes.
Sam Cronin (4): The same for Sam as I gave Pittinari. Nothing extraordinary from Sam. Both he and Pittinari were quite narrow at times. There needs to be a little space to help relieve the pressure. If they are too close, it makes it easier for the other team to pressure the both of them.
Juan Ramirez (2): The passing by Ramirez was just horrible. He only missed 6 passes, it seemed like a lot more. They all can’t be blamed on the turf. Granted others were missing passes. He did get four shots off but none were of any quality. The one positive was that he drew seven fouls, but he continued to fall to weakly. He needs to learn to stay on his feet more. Referees will become wise to it and he won’t get the call. He is still young and hopefully will grow into the game.
Marcelo Sarvas (5): Sarvas was one of the few players who brought passion and urgency to the match. He almost got on a long-cross and did get a shot off. Otherwise you could see his frustration as he tried to get the team riled up and get in the attack.
Nick LaBrocca (5): LaBrocca worked his butt off all match and this has been how he has played all season. He was a consistent passer and was always in the right position. He didn’t get forward into the attack as much as he was needed.
Gabriel Torres (4): Gabby did well holding up play but had no support from the midfield wingers. He had nothing to do with the ball. A striker always having his back to goal is not a good thing. They need support and someone to feed the ball to. Torres just didn’t get that in this match.
Kevin Doyle (5): Doyle sat on the bench during Ireland’s two European Qualifiers and started on the bench in this match. He came on in the 58’ and did get a quality header on David Ousted that almost went it. Just a little more power and I think it goes in. Otherwise there weren’t many opportunities for Doyle.
Vicente Sanchez (5): Sanchez came on in the 77 minute and that wasn’t much time to do much. His speed was an asset until the Whitecaps countered the substitute. He did have trouble with the ball sticking in the turf.
Dillon Powers (N/A): Powers came on in the 80 minute.
That is how I saw the match. What do you think?