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Breaking Burgundy: Rapids Week 8 in Review

The Good, The Bad, and The Burgundy

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Sporting KC Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Here at Breaking Burgundy, we will take a look at this week’s game (or games) and how our Colorado Rapids performed. We’ll also identify a key player for Breaking Burgundy Player of the Week honors, as well as some random observations from yours truly.

Let’s get to it!

The Good

Danny Wilson

See “Player of the Week”

The Defense
It was not a particularly great weekend for our Rapids, but the defense did hold strong. Sporting Kansas City thoroughly outplayed the Rapids in almost every conceivable metric. Possession? SKC - 59% - 41%. Shots? SKC - 23-10. Shots on target? SKC - 7-2. Pass success? SKC - 85% - 80%. Dribbles won? I think you get the point.

HOWEVER, the Rapids did have two of the top five performers overall Danny Wilson (7.7) and Tommy Smith (7.5). Kansas City created a lot of looks and Wilson and Smith made finding the back of the net difficult. Blocking shots, winning their duels, and making timely clearances to help take the pressure off. Yes, they conceded a goal, but without Wilson and Smith, this game could have been a lot worse.

The Bad

Lineup Choices

This is so frustrating. We get it—Jack McBean works hard. He’s a banger who isn’t afraid to make challenges. I’ve watched him for several years with Los Angeles Galaxy II in the USL and he was fantastic at that level; however, last season in LA and so far this season, he doesn’t seem able to adjust his game to the MLS level. He’s decent at hold-up play and feeding the ball to runners on the wing or through the middle, but he doesn’t offer much in the way of key passes, chances created, assists, and goals. (You know, the majority of what you need a hold-up striker to do.)

To complicate matters further, we have both Joe Mason and Yannick Boli sitting on the bench. Sure Mason has a knock and Boli is still adjusting to the team but let the Boli/Dominique Badji front two develop some chemistry together in an actual game setting and then sub on McBean at the 60th minute for a different look.

Furthermore, it seems that we have no real answer for who is the backup right back while Marlon Hairston continues to recover. Kip Colvey pretty consistently allows the other team’s offense to but pressure Deklan Wynne, It’s honestly a wise choice for opposing teams: why build up against Edgar Castillo and Tommy Smith when you can go up against either Colvey or Dillon Serna and Deklan Wynne. While Colvey and Serna’s game ratings have been similar, based on the “eye test” Serna seems to be outplaying Colvey.

I also understand that injuries and fitness have played into why we haven’t seen anything close to a first choice Rapids lineup but good grief we have players that we spent decent money on sitting on the bench or not even being selected and an offense that is struggling to consistently create chances.

The Ugly

Another Loss

As From the South Stands points out in his fantastic article (which you can read here), the Rapids are coming up to a similar position as last year. Points seem hard to come by and the early season losses are piling up. Head-scratching decisions are riling up the fanbase and the honeymoon period for Hudson (while still on) is starting to wane.

The Rapids need to string together a few results, but the competition isn’t getting any easier. Up next we have the New York gauntlet and a resurgent Portland Timbers, but the schedule does ease up a bit after these next three fixtures.

MLS has generally been pretty forgiving to teams that make late season runs—and I really do think the Rapids will end up surprising some come the end of the year—but leaving so many points on the table isn’t helpful. The landscape has changed in MLS it’s wise to have a few points in your back pocket.

The #RapidsWay is still developing

The process is never fun when you’re the one living in it and most Rapids fans feel the weight of it all. Every few years it seems that things are resetting and a new crop of talent is brought in. You might get above the red line here and there but the team seems to lack overall consistency.

I know I’ve been a bit gloom and doom here at Breaking Burgundy the last several weeks but allow me to encourage you. This process, the “Rapids Way,” is still in the infancy stages, and the club really does seem to be building something. We have several solid young pieces and prime veterans who can help shepherd them along. In the social media/instant news age it’s hard to play the long game, but the Rapids have a vision—let’s allow them the space to see it through.

Player of the Week

Danny Wilson

What a game for Danny! It’s nice to have Wilson back in the lineup and we were rewarded with a standout defensive performance. Three tackles. Four interceptions. Six clearances and four blocked shots. Wilson is also extremely good on the ball and really helps in the attack as well. He had 43 passes and an 83% completion rate. Just fantastic overall work from the center back who helped keep the game within reach.

*All ratings from whoscored.com