The Colorado Rapids crossed the Rocky Mountains and left the Rocky Mountain Cup on Friday night and let Real Salt Lake get three points closer to them in the table when they lost 2-1.
At times the Rapids were the better team, but as the match went along, RSL took control and was the better team in this match. The Rapids failed to take advantage when they had the better run of play in the first half. They came to play.
The Rapids scored their first goal in the first 15 minutes of a match when Shkelzen Gashi was able to get on a rare rebound from Nick Rimando after Dominique Badji's shot. Gashi was able to beat Jamison Olave to the ball and get it past Rimando.
RSL was able to equalize in the 39' when Movsisyan beat Bobby Burling to the cross and redirect the ball past Tim Howard who had stretched out trying to stop the cross. Movsisyan was able to get his brace on a really nice goal in the 48' when no one from the Rapids closed him down.
There were two controversial moments in the match. The first one was when referee Jair Marrufo called a penalty when Movsisyan went down. What was funny is that he was not touched. Movsisyan went to kick and stubbed his tow into the ground who then went down in agony like he was run over. Marrufo fell for the antics and awarded the PK. Luckily Movsisyan missed the penalty.
The second was another Marrufo penalty call against the Rapids when Eric Miller slid and blocked Juan Manuel Martinez who went down. The thing is that it was not a dangerous play, not a foul and Miller did not even touch Martinez. This PK was saved by Tim Howard. It was an amazing save.
Sometimes the calls go your way and sometimes they do not. One just hopes it balances out over the season. But in these instances the ball does not lie.
I am not sure I understand why Power was taken out for Azira. This removed a more attacking player for a defensive player when you are down a goal. Powers was not having a good match, but why not bring on an attacking player?
Here is how I saw the match.
Tim Howard - 9 (9.33): This match demonstrated one of the reasons why the Rapids went out and signed Howard. The save on the second PK was world class and only a few goal keepers can make that save.
Marc Burch - 6 (6.92): Not a bad match overall for Burch. A poor call on him gave RSL a PK opportunity and I assume a yellow for Burch because he argued the call. Made a great play on the Joao Plata cross late into the match.
Bobby Burling - 4 (6.25): Was slow to react on the first goal when Movsisyan beat him to the ball.
Axel Sjoberg - 4 (6.08): Not a bad match. Was right on Movsisyan before the RSL goal, Movsisyan collapsed his legs looking for a PK. Should have been a yellow embellishment, but Sjoberg played that just right. Did not get close enough to Movsisyan on his second goal.
Eric Miller - 3 (4.25): Did not have a good match, it was not bad either. Just tough. On the second PK, when you slid in the box this opens you up to the awarded PK. That is why sometimes you want to stay on your feet. The first goal, was a bad deflection off his foot. If he clears it, than there is not equalizer at that time.
Dillon Powers - 4 (4.00): Was just out of this match and had a poor evening. Some poor passes and touches. He will need to be better the next match. Powers received a yellow for a bad challenge.
Sam Cronin - 3 (5.75): Cronin was absent for long times of this match. On the defensive end, he overran Movsisyan giving him too much space to get that shot off. When your two defensive midfielders have a bad match the result will not be good.
Dominique Badji - 6 (5.42): Badji had some really good moments in this match. He got the shot off that led to Gashi's goal. He had a few good runs that troubled RSL, the problem his crosses just went through the box as his teammates were standing and ball watching.
Shkelzen Gashi - 8 (7.08): Gashi started the match well and he continued his play throughout. He was first to the rebound and scored in the 5', the first goal for the Rapids in the first 15 minutes. He was creative and active throughout the entire match. He almost got the equalizer late in regulation that Rimando had to go down and make a tough save.
Marco Pappa - 5 (5.50): He took some shots but they were gathered quite easily. There were times when he showed he belonged in the starting lineup, but most of the match that was not there. He was ball watching several times and should have gotten to a cross from Badji that would have been a good scoring opportunity.
Kevin Doyle - 4 (4.50): Doyle was dropping quite deep to get the ball, specifically in the second half when RSL had much of the play. He had a good flick to Badji on the first goal. But otherwise the Rapids need him to start scoring goals. When he is back in your defensive third on a Rapids throw-in is not a good thing.
Micheal Azira - 4 (5.42): Azira came in about the 60' and did not really influence the match. Just not much was there.
Caleb Calvert - 6 (5.50): Was quite active but not much to show for it. He did get one shot on Rimando at the end of the game. Unfortunately it did not trouble him. He drew a foul in a dangerous place that led to a good opportunity. With the national team call ups in place, I think Calvert will get some good time at New England.
That is how I saw they match. What do you think?