Na-na, Na-Na, hey hey hey!
The home crowd went home happy for the second Saturday in a row as the Colorado Rapids won against the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on “Nana” Bismark Adjei-Boateng’s goal in stoppage time. Here are my takeaways from Saturday’s game:
- For all the flack that goalkeeper Tim Howard in this 2018 campaign, he was outstanding against the Earthquakes. With five saves on the night (and only giving up one goal on a penalty), he made sure that the Rapids stayed in the match. MLS recognized him as a sub on the Team of the Week.
- Speaking of Team of the Week, our own Kellyn Acosta earned a spot in the Starting XI. His assist to Tommy Smith off a corner gave the Rapids an early goal. Acosta affects matches even when he doesn’t score and even when he quietly goes about his burgundy business. On a side note, isn’t it interesting that a conversation is taking place on who ‘won’ the transaction regarding the Dominique Badji-Acosta trade? This is a win-win for both clubs, though a case could be made that Acosta has a bigger impact.
- But let’s be honest—were you not happy for Badji when he scored against Seattle Sunday night? Once a Rapid....
- Dillon Serna came in early on Saturday when Enzo Martinez was subbed off in the 28th minute. Serna, as usual, brought an instant energy and a nose for goal that pestered San Jose significantly. Serna was also on the receiving end of Shea Salinas’ elbow in the 88th minute, who became frustrated with jersey tugging that prevented a counter attack. The Quakes were so close to leaving Commerce City with a point, but not only ended up losing, but will do without Salinas’ services for their next match against Toronto FC on August 18th.
- Another player who has struggled this year is Nana Boateng. He did not have the cleanest game this past Saturday, but were you not happy for him when he scored the goal? While most of us are grateful for a win (especially in 2018), most of us also want to see our boys in burgundy succeed. The sheer joy he had when that (to use a baseball term) ‘ground-ball-with-eyes’ goal snuck through had to make every Rapid fan happy.
- On the stat line, the Rapids once again won the possession to the tune of 58%. This is the second match in a row where they held the ball in the high 50s, and the new 4-4-2 diamond formation is a big reason. Our guys seem more comfortable, knowing where the other player is on the pitch, and keeping the other team from having chances while creating a plethora of their own.
- Chances, you say? The Rapids won the shots battle 16-15, with five on target to the Quakes’ six. Granted, San Jose is last in the West for a reason (and the Rapids are 11th for a reason, but I digress), but over the last few games, chances are increasing. This is good to see, given the run of form earlier in the year.
- Playoffs? While not likely, the West hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, leaving the Rapids with the faintest glimmer of hope in extended their season. They are 11 points off the playoff line with 11 games to play. Trailing the Houston Dynamo by four points and Minnesota by six, these last two wins have allowed the Rapids to lessen the gap from those just above them in the standings. (On a side note, @cinhosa offered to buy Matt Pollard and myself a beverage should the Rapids make the playoffs this year or next. I’m sure whether to take him up on it, because I’ll probably choke on it with laughter and delight. But Rapids, quench this guy’s thirst soon, right?)
- For the second time in ten days, the Rapids play LA Galaxy, this time in Carson, CA. In all likelihood, they will contend with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Giovanni Dos Santos at the StubHub Center. Like many of you, I will be interested to see the strategy employed by Anthony Hudson. Since this is such a quick turnaround on a rare Tuesday night match, do they change tactics and park the proverbial bus, or do they come out more attack-minded? I hope the latter.
After playing LA Galaxy tonight, they will face LAFC in their shiny new Banc of California Stadium on Sunday, August 19th. From there, the Rapids will have a week to rest up before their next match at home against Real Salt Lake on August 25th. They should play to their potential and work on a third win in three matches for some serious momentum going into the final leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup. It will be interesting to see how Hudson manages the players with three games in one week.
Speaking of the Rocky Mountain Cup, the Rapids need three goals to take home that trophy. Just sayin’.
What were your takeaways?