The COSC Feed - Mar 26th 2012
Rapids Week Three Match Report
Paul Merrit
Mar 26th 2012

Photo: Julio Cortez / AP

Shithappens.  Being down two major pieces headed into the match is bad enough, butwhen you compound that with two costly brain farts in the middle of the fieldwithin the first 10 minutes of the match you’re looking at an impossiblesituation.


Iactually got to watch the debacle last night from across the pond… if you countsquinting at a pixilated 4:3 box roughly half the size of a normal laptopscreen surrounded with offers for cheap Ipad 2’s and webcam sex as “watching”that is.  There were also plenty of freezes and refreshes to deal with as well,so I’m not sure how much my commentary is worth this week


My maintakeaway from our match was that the squad as a whole (all the way down to themanager) displayed what I would describe as a sense of irrational confidence. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, think of that friend we all have that hitson chicks in bars that are not even playing the same sport as him, much less residingin the same league.  Think of your 23 handicap golfing buddy that whips out the4 iron for a 208 yard carry over water.


The BurgundyBoyz displayed this level of misplaced bravado on multiple occasions, and asthe score line shows it cost us dearly.  On the road with no captain andarguably our best player out of the lineup, I expected the Rapids to slow itdown, shorten up the lines a little bit early and make easy passes to geteveryone comfortable and involved, inching forward and taking opportunities asthey came.  What we saw instead was too much “cuteness”… long risky throughballs and ill advised one on one play that let NYRB run wild on the counter. Additionally, I thought it was a little too confident of Papi to throw LeBeauxand Thompson on as piece for piece substitutions for a concussed Pablo andsuspended Ginger.  Quite frankly we have better, more proven options that that inthe middle, and I think Mullan could have better influenced the match byplaying in the middle with Castrillon instead of up top with Omar and The Kid. Either way it was going to be a tough proposition facing a desperate NYRB teamin their home opener, and I think last night’s result had just as much to dowith their desire as it did with our personnel issues.  Onto the review.


MattPickens –Trick or Treat faced a barrage from the get go and it’s hard to find too muchblame in his performance, save for some shaky decision making on the 4thgoal when things had already been decided.  I thought he could have done alittle better with KFC’s love tap in the first half as well, but too much wentwrong last night for net keeping alone to influence the match.


DrewMoor –I said Drew Moor was awful while Gmailing back and forth with a fellow Colonialalso named Drew.  He replied with “well, he’s had a lot to do.”  Hard todisagree with that save his misplaced tackle on KFC’s first goal.  There was noball fake there to bite on, so the only explanation is that Moor thought hecould get to the ball.  YIKES.  Quite honestly his performance looked worsethat what it was on TV as well, because his comrades in the back spent a lot ofthe match out of position and leaving him holding the bag.


KosukeKimura –Kosuke spent a lot of the evening caught too far up field with a stream ofwhite jerseys occupying the flank he just uh… deoccupied… or something likethat.  Once again, we sort of fell in love with the legend of ourselves lastnight and forgot that keeping the ball out of your own net is as important asputting it in the other one.


MarvellWynne –Oh boy… Wynne has got to get it together mentally.  He bites on everything,gets sucked up on harmless runs as people steam in behind him, and on thesecond Henry goal he played an offside trap that no one on the back line knewanything about, taking himself out of position and leading to the goal that trulyput it out of reach after we closed the first half on a high note.  Wynne’sspeed and athleticism lets him make up for a lot of mistakes, but if he doesn’tstart playing better between the ears all the speed in the world won’t save him.


LuisZapata –It seems like every match there’s one person’s performance I reflect on and go“whoa… he played tonight?”  During a win that’s not a big deal because I couldjust throw out something vaguely positive and move on, but during a loss? Let’s leave Zapata as an “incomplete” and see what happens next week


RossLeBeaux –Mistakes happen, and I refuse to sit here and fry Ross for the ill advised backpass that lead to the first goal.  Honestly I thought it was a combination ofthings there anyway.  Moor didn’t step up a little to give him an easieroutlet, Henry made a great read on the back pass and cut it off, and of coursethere was the bone headed decision from LeBeaux to try to get it all the wayback to Moor in the first place.  Like I said going into this thing, shithappens.  The problem is LeBeaux didn’t do anything to make up for that mistakeduring the course of the match did he?  His performance was the water shedexample of what was wrong with the Rapids this week; irrational confidence.  Hespent a lot of the second half trying to take on players one on one instead oftaking the easy pass and letting the offense flow and  he had some seriously sketchytackles in the middle third that were card worthy.


WellThompson –I will always believe that the rest of the team were under strict orders not toactually pass the ball to Wells Thompson regardless of what evidence ispresented to the contrary.  Let’s be honest here, both him and LeBeaux were outof their depth in the 4-3-3, with neither player showing the anticipation orthe presence necessary to break up possession in the middle of the field andcut off those cute 25 yard cutters through the middle.  That shit ain’thappening with Larentowicz in there next week.


JamieCastrillon –Jamie gave us two incredible performances in the two matches leading up to lastnight, and truth be told he played rather well going forward when we had thechance.  I loved his header in the first half, his steadying presence on theball (when he could get his feet on it), and he pick pocketed that assholeMarquez in the second half easily and should be credited with the assist on ourlone goal.  Now the bad news; the guy brought nearly NOTHING to the matchdefensively.  Without Larentowicz out there to cover him we saw just how muchof a liability Jamie can be in the defensive middle.


TonyCascio –Tony was sharp, decisive, and aggressive, but unfortunately he was alsounderfed.  He was our MOTM last night, and it’s too bad we didn’t have more ofthe ball and some better chances to unleash him.  I’m really excited about Cascioand look forward to watching how he develops over the next coming years.  Myearly evaluation is we hit a gold mine with The Kid and he is going to have along career as a striker.


OmarCummings –Classy finish no doubt, but what else did he really bring to the match?  Youdon’t get points for arguing with the 4th official Omar.


BrianMullan –Ibelieve that Mr. Mullan was deployed incorrectly yesterday.  His experience andfamiliarity with the back four out on the wing in last year’s 4-4-2 should havesaw him playing in front of the back four in the role Larentowicz played for usin the first two matches.  Throwing him up on the attacking wing makes sense ifyou think you’re going to have the lion’s share of the ball and can get forwardwith ease, but in a match “featuring” LeBeaux and Thompson against a squad in amust win situation in their home opener, who actually believed that was goingto happen?  Mullan looked serviceable frantically running back into the defenseto try to stop the bleeding, but I believe we would have had more successdropping him back into the fray from the beginning.


TheSubs – Quincydid Quincy-like stuff, bring energy and life to the match during the 5 minutesor so after Omar’s goal when we had a lifeline, and Marshall came on forLeBeaux to shore things up for an all out offensive.  No qualms with either ofthese performances.  It would have taken a truly remarkable showing toinfluence the outcome by the time either was introduced.

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