In what has been deemed the “longest game of all time” and what seems like a month ago, the Colorado Rapids had their seven-game unbeaten streak snapped by the New England Revolution, losing 2-1 on the 4th of July. Here are some quick takeaways from that match.
- The Rapids and the Revs had been following similar paths for the 2019 campaign. Both struggled out of the gate (though, to be fair, to say the Rapids came out of the gate in the first place would be in question, given they were winless in their first 11 matches), and both have picked up steam since firing their head coaches. The Revolution are now 6-8-5 while the Rapids are now 5-10-4. The win last week bumped the Revs up to 8th place in the East, while the Rapids are back in last place in the West with 19 points—one point behind the Vancouver Whitecaps and eight points behind sixth-place Houston Dynamo.
- The official attendance for the match was 15,584. (I’ll wait here until you finish laughing, given the weather conditions). I realize that league rule states that attendance figures are those of tickets purchased, but still... isn’t there a way to calculate attendance that is, you know, actual people attending?
- The first goal by the Revs’ Teal Bunbury was a great first touch off a fantastic cross from former Rapid Edgar Castillo. I was surprised that Tim Howard didn’t come out quicker on Bunbury, but Teal’s skill allowed him to tuck the ball away for an early lead.
- Speaking of Howard, friend of the BW Jason Maxwell posted on a FB discussion board addressing the metric of “Goals Saved Above Replacement.” According to the article, “Goals Saved Above Replacement (GSAR) quantifies all areas of a goalkeeper’s actions, from shot stopping to cross handling to pass accuracy.” I’ll let you look at this for yourselves, but it seems that Mr. Howard is a mid-level talent who is severely overpaid. Granted, this is 2018 in a historically bad season with a historically bad backline. 2019, at least of late, has been much improved by the help and partnership of Rosenberry—Abubakar—Smith—Vines.
- The Rapids have 15 games left and cannot under any circumstances drop points. Their trip to Portland on Saturday is critical. Losing to Portland will put the Timbers seven points ahead of the Rapids with two games in hand. The Rapids need to chop them down (poor pun intended), play their youngsters against Arsenal two days later, then come home to the fortress and bag three against New York City FC.
- Speaking of Arsenal’s visit—why? Yes, it’s wonderful to have an EPL team of the Gunners’ caliber come into our backyard. But a game two days after a trip to Portland and five days ahead of the NYCFC is just not feasible for the Rapids to continue their momentum. Ten years ago, I would not have questioned this move because this would help soccer get more of a grip on American soil. We’re not at that place anymore. MLS, the USL, local soccer, access to European and Mexican soccer—there is a supporter base that’s gaining some serious traction. I’m just not sure about the need for Arsenal to come visit (aside from the Kroenke connection).
What were some of your takeaways?