The Colorado Rapids traveled north of the border, this time to British Columbia and took on the Vancouver Whitecaps. This match it took some late heroics from Axel Sjoberg as the Rapids tied the Whitecaps 0-0.
The late heroics came as the Rapids were down to 10 men. In the last minute of stoppage time, Kevin Doyle was able to get to the end line with the ball, cross it to the back post where Sjoberg was waiting and headed it back across goal into the net.
The Rapids went to 10 men in the 71st minute when Eric Miller was sent off for a challenge. It was just a couple of players going for the ball. The studs were not showing and was a yellow at most. I hope the Rapids appeal this one.
The scoring opened up in the 10th minute when Kendall Waston got on the end of good service by Christian Bolanos. Powers was marking Bolanos and he slipped giving the room for the cross. Mekeil Williams was just out muscled for the ball by Waston. Tim Howard had no chance.
The Rapids then took over play for the rest of the first half. They were moving the ball faster and more efficiently than they did against the Portland Timbers. Doyle had an excellent opportunity to score on a low header. Shkelzen Gashi was unlucky not to score also, making David Ousted make a great save.
The Rapids got on the board with a great passing sequence that freed Doyle in the box who got it past Ousted. Marco Pappa got the ball from Sam Cronin and made a beautiful, crisp pass to Gashi. Gashi was able to get it behind Jordan Harvey who dived too far in and Doyle was able to get to it and lift it over Ousted into the net.
Gashi was also unlucky not to score shortly after Doyle did. Doyle dropped the ball back to him and his shot was cleared off the line by Waston.
I also do not see why Blas Perez is still playing. He did nothing in this match for the Whitecaps.
This is how I saw the match.
Tim Howard - 9 (7.63): Tim was unlucky not to save the pk shot by Cristian Techera, he went the right way and got a hand to it. He had no chance on Waston's goal. He made a huge save and should be up for the MLS save of the week for his save on Bolanos after the Rapids went down to 10 men.
Eric Miller - 6 (4.75): He was unlucky on the red card, but as the PRO referees have gone this year, we should not be surprised. I guess they do not slide tackles. At most it was a yellow. Otherwise he was solid and helped move the ball quickly. He got forward at the right time.
Jared Watts - 5 (4.97): Watts can not put his arm on an opposing player, who crumpled, and not expect to have a penalty kick awarded. Otherwise it was not that bad of a match. Watts has been solid in the last several matches when he has started.
Axel Sjoberg - 8 (7.69): Sjoberg had a great match. Not only did he score the late equalizer he played some good defense. He did a great job neutralizing Nicolas Mezquida on a potential breakaway. Sjoberg was able to get in front of him and cut off his path to the ball. Mezquida went down holding his head like he was hit with an elbow, not even close. He should have received a yellow for diving. But a great match for Sjoberg who got on the bench for the MLS Team of the Week.
Mekeil Williams - 5 (5.72): Another sub-par performance by Williams. He messed up a chance near the goal by taking an extra touch that ended up going over the end line. Another time he was knocked him over, which turned into a goal kick for the Whitecaps. Finally Waston out muscling him early in the match and allowing Waston to score a goal.
Micheal Azira - 6 (6.88): Azira was in much better position in this match and did a good job offensively. There was one moment in the first half where he was chasing to a ball in the box, as was two Whitecaps players, and he was tentative on his shot as he got there first. If he went with more conviction for the ball, maybe he draws a foul there or gets a cleaner shot off on goal.
Sam Cronin - 6 (6.75): A decent match for Cronin who combined will with Azira. He was working well in breaking up the play. Unfortunately we saw Cronin complaining and talking with PRO Referee Allen Chapman.
Shkelzen Gashi - 7 (7.59): A better match for Gashi this week, especially compared to last weeks match vs the Timbers. He was passing better, moving better and putting better service into the box. He made a tremendous pass to Doyle on the first goal and was unlucky to not score himself.
Dillon Powers - 6 (5.72): Powers gets the last minute start as Jermaine Jones came up with knock in warmups. He had a decent match and had a couple opportunities in the box. He did slip on the slick turf at BC Place that allowed Bolanos to get his cross off to Waston.
Marco Pappa - 6 (6.72): Pappa had a good match and had the secondary assist on Doyle's goal. He was more sharp in this match and helped move the ball faster than the previous matches. He did get a cheap yellow for time wasting. I think this is a card that Chapman could have kept in his pocket.
Kevin Doyle - 9 (8.22): One of the better matches for Doyle in burgundy. He had a couple opportunities in the first half, scored a brilliant goal to get the Rapids level and had the assist on the goal in stoppage time. He was working hard all match and was unlucky not to get another assist after his feed back to Gashi.
Marc Burch - 6 (6.03): Came on for Pappa in the 74th minute after Miller was sent off. Decent 20+ minutes for Burch.
Marlon Hairston - 7 (5.72): A good performance for Hairston who only had 10+ minutes. He came on and provided some defensive presence in the midfield when he replaced Gashi in the 79th minute.
Luis Solignac - N/A (5.53): Came on in the 84 minute for Dillon Powers.
That is how I saw the match. What are your thoughts?