Rapids 3-0 Chivas and The Genius of Gary Smith?
Is Gary Smith a Mad Genius?
Benjamin Kowalsky
Sep 5th 2010

Is Gary Smith a Mad Genius?

Some may question my statement that Gary Smith is the greatest Manager the Rapids have ever had, precisely because "we havent made the playoffs yet". While I can certainly understand that sentiment, I want you to take a look at what Gary Smith said just last night after we downed the Goats 3-0.

"I think thats a very American sort of phrase working towards the playoffs. Youre forms either good or bad. You either finish the season well, and you feel confident about yourselves..."

Lets stop it right there. Gary, you clever bastard.

One of the things that Gary Smith said he was doing differently this season was creating a new set of goals for the team. Different goals than last season. The question I ask myself now is: "Does Gary Smith consider making the Playoffs to be a part of his goal?"

After the demolition of Chivas USA last night, and his follow up comments, I have to say: no. Gary Smith doesnt have "make the Playoffs" on his to-do list.

His goal, instead, seems to be to get the Rapids to finish as high on the table as possible. If we were using a single table at this point, the Rapids would be 6th. We are 4th in the West. We have a game in the hand over our closest competition (Seattle Sounders 32 points).

The Chivas game, in terms of gameplay, was a tale of two halves, much like the Houston game, except opposite. Now, why it seems like the Rapids came out swinging against Houston and just played keep-away against the Goats instead of putting them out of their misery in the first 23 in the beginning...beyond me. The attack seemed unfocused.

But the minute that the guys came out for the second half, playtime was over. The coaching staff had been watching how Thornton kept knocking the ball to his feet before falling over to pick it up. I bet that was mentioned in the team talk. Conors first goal was brilliant just for that reason. You see Thornton go to smack the ball to his feet, but Casey is right there and pretty much drives a knee straight at him. That had to have just destroyed Thorntons confidence. Then Omar makes his next goal from a difficult angle, and Thornton is just caught with his pants down on that one...

And so on and so forth. Rapids Romp over the Goats.

And so, Gary Smith would appear to be doing well. As I said in a previous post, the injection of some competition into the Forward role with Arquin possibly coming to the Rapids (theyre working on contract details now, from what I hear) and with Akpan finally getting a few minutes at DSG, pushes Casey to work harder to keep his starting spot. Just wait till Akpan nets a good first goal. That should make things more interesting.

It was a special match for a couple reasons: we got to see Wallaces first outing for Colorado, and he was good. Very good. Of course hes going to get compared to Marvell Wynne, which is a bit unfair. Marvell Wynne is not a human being. Hes a machine. Wallace should be compared to Danny Earls, and in that respect he showed very well. He didnt get up as much as Danny does. A bit more timid going forward, which is probably going to hurt us against better teams that Chivas, but hes good. All in all, I was happy with his performance, and I think hes a good signing.

Another great thing was seeing Akpan and Amarikwa get some minutes at forward. And they didnt do too badly. Theyre still both rookies (I consider Amariwka a rookie because of his age) but theres a lot of promise from both of them. I saw Andre after the game and dude was just grinning from ear-to-ear. You can bet hes going to give a little bit of extra fight for some minutes now.

And I suppose thats the best thing the Manager can do for the Forward position. Increase competition. If Akpan isnt playing so hard, let him know what hes missing by giving him a couple of minutes. Just remember Dre: only the first taste is free. And it would seem now our problem is solved? Has finishing become no longer a problem?

Casey and Cummings are combining in ways we havent seen yet. Defenses dont know what to do about them anymore. Our Midfield is better than has ever been before, and plays begin through the Midfield as opposed to OVER the midfield. Our back line has never looked more confident and threatening. The Goats only got ONE shot off last night. Blocked skillfully by Matt Pickens, who really had nothing to do but celebrate.

Now weve got a real test ahead of us. A strong New York Red Bull side which boasts Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Angel, and Rafa Marquez. In addition to the rookie sensation Tim Ream. Ill post an analysis before the game.

Till then, Country Roads...Take me Home...

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