The Colorado Rapids suffered another tough loss in Atlanta Saturday night. Atlanta managed to get upwards of 76% of the possession, and they squeaked one past Tim Howard in all that time. Unfortunately, the Rapids last-second header was saved, and thus the game finished 1-0. Despite the result, Dillon Serna played another good game, and Nana Boateng saw his first minutes since being injured.
Here are all the ratings:
Tim Howard (GK): 8
Tim was placed behind a back line with a new face, and even the familiar faces were playing out of position. With that in front of him, it was bound to be a challenge. Fortunately, the back line stayed cohesive, and a lot of that could be chalked up to Howard’s leadership. On top of that, Howard also made a number of great saves and even managed to get a hand on Martinez’s goal. Even though it was a loss and not a shutout, Howard played very well.
Dennis Castillo (RB): 6
Castillo did a solid job on defense. He didn’t let men really get behind him on the right side much, and that is good. Unfortunately, he also did not really contribute much on the offensive end. He struggled to get into position to his crosses, and they weren’t very dangerous when he did. He also got a pretty bad yellow card on a pretty rough tackle. All in all, decent defense and not too great offense gets you a six.
Mike da Fonte (CB): 6
Mike was also generally solid at defense. He managed to keep pace with a lot of the speedy players in the Atlanta side, but he did get exposed on the goal. He was the man marking Martinez when he managed to get a few yards and then get da Fonte out of the way on a fake shot. It is a hard play to make defensively, but it will never help your score as a defender when you are marking a goal scorer.
Eric Miller (CB): 6.5
Normally an outside back, Miller had to slot into the middle of the defense Saturday night. He did a good job matching the physicality that comes with being in the middle, and he also had good positioning throughout the game. Also, his pace came in handy when it came to the Atlanta attackers, similar to da Fonte. Overall, I feel like he and da Fonte were on par with each other, but he didn’t let up the goal so he gets to be slightly higher.
Mekeil Williams (LB): 7
Williams played very well overall. He was good on the ball, and did a good job supporting Gatt and Hairston up the left side. He also was solid defending one-on-one. The only real downside was that he seemed to be caught up a few times and Atlanta was able to get a few through balls down his side, including the one that led to the goal. All in all, I think this was the best game Williams has played in a Rapids shirt all season.
Dillon Serna (RM): 8
Serna backed up his great performance on Wednesday with another good one today. He wasn’t able to look quite as threatening on the offensive end, but he did an excellent job defending in the RM position. He tracked back well and really only got beat once in the back corner. Otherwise, he blocked a number of crosses and made a bunch of interceptions in the midfield. Offensively, he managed to hit the crossbar when he caught Atlanta goalkeeper Alec Kann off his line, and he also hit a perfect pass to spring Gatt on a breakaway just a minute later. Hopefully he is able to keep his spot in the lineup next weekend as there is likely to be some squad rotation for the US Open Cup game on Tuesday.
Micheal Azira (CM): 6.5
Azira played another game that showed us exactly what we expect. He was pretty solid defensively, but he did not bring a whole bunch to the offensive end. He also cleared a ball off the line in the second half. This has become the typical Azira game, and his consistency should be applauded even it may not bring about great numbers. Unfortunately, he picked up a yellow card, so he will be facing a suspension for getting five throughout the season.
Dillon Powers (CM): 6
Powers put in a good effort, but he seemed to struggle on the offensive end. The former number 10 Rookie of the Year let defenders catch him from behind all night, and he seemed to be a little slow picking out his passes. He was solid defensively, and his chemistry with Azira showed as the two rotated around each other wonderfully. With Azira taking one spot in the middle, we need a little more offense from the other center midfielder.
Josh Gatt (LM): 7
Part of me feels like I am about to write the same thing here as I did for Gatt on Wednesday night. He made a number of dangerous runs and plays, but he is still just missing the final touch. He was sprung by Serna and was not able to beat the keeper one-on-one, and he led a number of counter attacks with the ball at his feet that led to nothing. The runs and ideas get him a seven, but he won’t get much higher until he starts turning them into something.
Caleb Calvert (ST): 5
It was another tough day for Calvert. After struggling in his last two substitute appearances, he did not do much to restore confidence today. There were a number of times he let defenders beat him to balls, and when he would get the ball he was not able to really do much with it. Throughout much of the game, he looked generally outplayed by the Atlanta defense, and he ultimately was subbed off. Calvert is still young however, so hopefully these are just some growing pains.
Kevin Doyle (ST): 5.5
Maybe it was having a strike partner that struggled. Maybe it was fatigue from starting three games in a week. Maybe it was the lack of possession and offense from the Rapids as a whole. Maybe it was just a bad day. Either way, Doyle also struggled. His hustle was still there, but he was also getting beat to balls and not really able to make much happen with his passing. He also seemed to be very frustrated by the lack of opportunities because he took a poor 30-yard shot with his left foot partway through the first half. Look for Doyle to bounce back next week when the Rapids hopefully have a little more going forward.
Marlon Hairston (in for Gatt in the 63’): 6.5
It took Hairston a little bit of time to really grow into the game, and much of that could be because he was playing midfield for the first time in a while. Once he did, he looked dangerous. That all culminated with a near chance as Boateng almost led him into the box late into the second half.
Alan Gordon (in for Calvert in the 68’): 5.5
Gordon showed his typical hustle, but he was not able to do much on the counter attack. In the short time he was on the field, the Rapids were able to get he ball to him twice with chances to create odd man rushes. On the first, he let one of the last defenders step in on the ball by not coming to it. On the second, he cut the ball back and then lost possession as a defender caught up to him. Other than those, he did not manage to get many chances in the box, the place where he makes his real money.
Bismark “Nana” Adeji-Boateng (in for Powers in the 83’): 7
Normally, not many players would really get a rating for only playing ten minutes (including stoppage time), but Boateng really made a difference in his few minutes. He got the ball up the field in a way that Powers could not. In his short time, he almost threaded the needle to Hairston who was running into the box, sent a header wide, and got a powerful header saved by Kann which could have tied the game just before the final whistle.