Each week, Keith Buderus will catch us up on our Rapids, the USMNT, and anything else that might be going on in the soccer world.
USMNT Heads to Gold Cup Quarterfinals
After winning Group B in front of an average crowd of 32,975 in Nashville, Tampa and Cleveland, the USMNT has landed in Philadelphia for a quarterfinal match against El Salvador (3rd place from Group C). Interesting note: The six new players who just joined the group are being forced to wear different numbers. The team will be in action again this Wednesday, July 19 (7 p.m. MDT) and will aim to move on to the semifinal where they would face the winner of Costa Rica v Panama at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
Questions Surround USMNT
Now that group play has finished up and the reinforcements have come in, there are some questions surrounding the USMNT and Bruce Arena. From the beginning, this has been a tournament to learn about the back-ups. ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle writes about how it is unfortunate the players sent home will not be able to finish the job. Dom Dwyer and Kelyn Rowe in particular seemed to show quite well and their dismissal leaves supporters scratching their heads.
One of those supporters is Jake Catanese, writer for SBNation’s The Bent Musket. He begs the question: why would Arena send home one of his best players from the group stage? Seems the general consensus is Rowe deserved to stay and Gyasi Zardes should’ve went home. Coming from a NE Revolution homer, this take is easy to see but he is not alone and even if you do not agree with Catanese, he still leaves you with five solid Gold Cup thoughts.
One of our favorites at ICYMI: Last Week in Soccer, Brian Sciaretta is another person curious about the decisions. He breaks down the penalty kick woes and how Rowe is clearly worth bringing into the regular team.
USMNT Stock Up, Stock Down
The Gold Cup has given an opportunity to 22 of the 23 men Bruce Arena originally called in the the group stage (NYCFC keeper Sean Johnson did not play). Nicholas Mendola of NBC Sports Soccer examines all 22 of those players and explains why their stock is up or down. Include Mendola on the list of supporters who believed Rowe and Dwyer showed their quality.
Shkelzen Gashi’s Achilles Will Not Heal
After a 17-day break for the Gold Cup, the club is ready to travel to Toronto this weekend on Saturday. Along with Bobby Burling (foot), Gashi will not travel with the team. Denver Post’s John Meyer breaks down three specific areas of focus that head coach Pablo Mastroeni explained they are working on during the hiatus. And if you blink you might miss it but there is a small bit in there about “the club adding two players in the coming weeks.” (Rapids Rabbi discussed who those two players could be last week, too.)
Pablo Talks to Vic
Did you hear Pablo this past week on the Vic Lombardi Show? If not, find 10 minutes to do so. Not only do we learn that Pablo went camping during the break, we also find out the group is ready to make a run in the second half of the season even if Gashi and Burling remain injured.
Rapids U18 Academy Team Lose in Semifinal
Attempting to win their first U.S. Soccer Development Academy Championship, the U18 Rapids Academy team lost 3-2 in penalties to Texans SC Houston in Carson, CA. The team leveled the match 1-1 in the 47th minute and grabbed the lead in the 78th only to allow a late stoppage time equalizer in the 92nd minute to send the match into extra time.
The loss sent them to the third place match against the Seattle Sounders FC where they lost 2-1, ending their stunning season. All of the Academy players are on the radar of our Front Office and they will hopefully get their chance to make an impact someday just like Kortne Ford has done, earning himself a spot on the MLS Homegrown roster.
The was some good news, though, with three players and the U16 coach earning national honors from the US Soccer Development Academy.
Where Did Dennis Castillo Come From?
Growing up in Costa Rica, Rapids defender Dennis Castillo made his way to the United States in college where he played at Virginia Commonwealth University. After proving himself in the USL, this is his first full season with the first team. Castillo talked to the Denver Post’s Benjamin Arthur about what it has been like to get his opportunity.