Saturday night’s game featured a goal from the youngest player to ever score in a Colorado Rapids uniform, that same person sent off on a straight red, a supporter base praying that the Rapids could hold on for a draw for the majority of the match, and a frustrating refereeing crew that was (to put it kindly) inconsistent. It was all the makings of a good ol’ fashioned night of silliness that eventually led to our Colorado Rapids (5-11-5, 11th in the West) losing 2-1 to cross-country foes, New York City FC (8-3-8, 5th in the East).
Here are some takeaways from the match.
- Unsurprisingly, the Rapids were outshot and out-possessed by NYCFC. What may surprise you is that they were outshot 29-8 and out-possessed 77-23%! Granted, playing with 10 men puts them in a defensive posture for most of the game, but the Rapids did have their chances at the end (more on that later). But red cards are putting the Rapids in tenuous positions all too often, something which cannot happen—especially after the atrocious start in the first third of the season. The Rapids clearly missed Kellyn Acosta and Kei Kamara, who will hopefully be back for the next match away at the resurgent San Jose Earthquakes.
- Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin came in for the injured Tim Howard (strained calf) and did an outstanding job keeping the match at a draw. With five saves and two punches (I confess, I did not know this was a stat line), Irwin did all he could to keep them in the match. Yet, on the last goal, when defender Tommy Smith failed to close down the dangerous NYCFC forward Alexandru Mitrita, any keeper would have struggled to keep that out even on their best day.
- Thank you, NYCFC, for sending Jonathan Lewis our way. He has certainly been a bright spot and continues to impress.
- Congratulations to Sebastian Anderson, who scored a goal in the 6th minute and became the youngest Rapids player in history to put the ball in the back of the net. The replay showed that this could have been ruled an own goal, but kinder heads prevailed. His night ended quickly, however, as he earned a straight red for a tackle in the 33rd minute.
- The Secondary Transfer Window opened on July 9th and closes on August 7th. While many are confident that the Rapids are working on helpful transactions to aid the team, few rumors are leaking out. The Rapids are sitting at 20 points in 11th in the conference (Vancouver Whitecaps pad the bottom with 20 points, but are at the bottom on goal differential). What transactions would you like to see?
- While all of us are grateful for Conor Casey righting the ship and helping salvage the season from a record-breaking disaster, I believe the time has come for the Rapids to pursue a seasoned MLS coach who knows the league and knows how to get the best out of the players. Granted, Casey and the Rapids have had to play virtually perfect ball to climb back into the playoff race, but they are still 10 points behind the 6th place Real Salt Lake (9-9-3). The Rapids obviously have some pieces on which to build.
- Speaking of pieces, please sign defender Lalas Abubakar!
- Can we do something about the consistency of the referees? The foul on Sam Nicholson late in the match should have given a free kick to the Rapids. And that’s just one of many. Was Rapids midfielder Sebastian Anderson rightly sent off?
What are some other takeaways you have? Comment below.