The Colorado Rapids opened the 2016 season in San Jose and came home with zero points as a brain fart in the first minute of the second half and let Chris Wondolowski got free in the Rapids box and scored the winning goal. After the Rapids fury in the last 10 minutes failed to score, the San Jose Earthquakes won 1–0.
This was a much better performance by the Rapids but in the end one mistake by the back four cost the Rapids. When you are unable to score, those errors are magnified.
I was quite impressed with Hairston and Miller getting up the wings, this is something that we did not see a lot of last season. But in the end they did challenge David Bingham. They just did not have any luck getting anything past him. That is something that we saw a lot of during the last season.
Bingham did get nominated for Major League Soccer’s Save of the Week, so the Rapids must have done something right during the match.
One of the things I noticed is that the Rapids seemed to be really narrow through long stretches of the match. This hurt them on the goal. It also made it easy for SJ to play defense and tougher for the Rapids to attack the goal.
Here is how I saw the match. Don’t forget to see the community ratings in parenthesis with each player.
Zac MacMath - 7 (6.54) San Jose only had three shots on target all match and MacMath made two of those three saves. I think he has shown that he is more than capable of filling that starting goal keeper role.
Eric Miller - 5 (6.80) Miller looked really good all match. After playing most of the preseason as a right back, he was started at left back. He made a pretty big mistake and got caught too far inside on the Earthquakes goal. He could not get the necessary pressure on Alberto Quintero who put in a perfect cross to Wondolowski.
Jared Watts - 5 (5.72) I was surprised that Watts started this match and more surprised that he started as a center back. Overall he did not have a bad match. But was caught out in a bad position on the goal. He tried to get in front of Quincy Amarikwa on a long ball. This put him out of position to contest the cross to Wondolowski. As a center back, he was probably better served staying behind Amarikwa.
Axel Sjörberg - 7 (5.69) I liked Sjöberg’s match. His height and strength were a physical presence that the Rapids needed. He also continued his work of last year of trying to get under the skin of the opposing teams attacking forward. He did a pretty good job on Amarikwa.
Marlon Hairston - 7 (6.20) Marlon had a good match and looked like he belonged in the right back position. He used his speed and was caught offsides a couple times. He will work on that timing and he will get in on the goalkeeper alone one time. I hope his injury does not put him out too long.
Sam Cronin - 4 (6.20) For me, Cronin just seemed a step slow and out of place in this match. I am wondering if his expected suspension hurt him in this match. During the preseason he did not play with most of the Starting XI. He will see a lot of time this year, hopefully he improves his performances.
Micheal Azira - 6 (5.73) I think the Rapids may have gotten a good player out from under the Seattle Sounders. He was strong and opened his #rapidsthuglife account with a yellow for a foul on Quintero. Watching the foul, it looked a lot worse than Quintero made it out to be.
Dillon Powers - 5 (6.70) He was decent but was up in a forward position despite promised from Pablo Mastroeni that he would play deeper. Not a bad performance but not as good as he could be. He did have a shot that went wildly wide in the first half. He did get a yellow for a late tackle.
Dominique Badji - 4 (5.09) His inexperience showed and may have cost the Rapids a goal. Kevin Doyle worked hard and put a cross along the ground and Badji just was jogging towards the goal not expecting the cross. He needs to anticipate Doyle getting the ball there and get into position to put a foot on it.
Shkëlzen Gashi - 6 (6.01) Gashi got a good runout and by the time he was substituted off he was exhausted. It was a good first match for him and will only get better. He did have a good shot but it just rose over the goal.
Kevin Doyle - 7 (6.26) This was one of the better matches that I have seen Doyle play. He had the previously mentioned cross in the second half and had a dipping shot in the first half. He also had a dangerous header that caused Bingham some trouble. I think goals will come for Doyle.
Luis Solignac [67’] - 3 (4.89) He was just non-existent in the 23 minutes he played. He came on for Gashi and just did not generate any offense.
Marco Pappa [79’] - 7 (7.28) The Rapids seemed to be more dangerous when Pappa came on and was unlucky to not score in this match. It is going to be fun to watch this team when he is able to start.
That is how I saw the match. What do you think? Let us know what you think of the community ratings?