The COSC Feed - Apr 5th 2012
Rapids Week Four Match Report
Paul Merrit
Apr 5th 2012

Photo: Garrett Ellwood / Colorado Rapids

Thisweek’s review finds Paul Merrit in a state of epiphany and self awareness.  Maybeit was the Smirnoff Ice, who knows?  Please enjoy week 4’s match review of theRapids 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire.  If you’d like to submit an articlefor publication, please email the editor at davewegner@aol.com

 

“Dude…why so negative?” 

 

Drewdropped that one on me during the tailgate as I was dropping on HIM a flurry ofcryptic, slightly degrading comments like “we need more out of Omar” or “Thelearning curve is going to hit when….”

Hiswords struck me like a bombshell… empirical and damning evidence that I wasturning into a soccer snob.  Sheer terror overtook me and I found myselflanguishing in the fact that I would never actually enjoy a match again forsheer criticality’s sake, I would always point out something shitty about mysquad every time they were brought up in casual conversation, and I would beforced by sheer smarminess alone to end every other sentence with “I’m justsaying…”

 

I guesswhat I’m getting at is no one likes a soccer snob I know, but I can personallyattest to how difficult it is to balance the natural optimism you feel whenwriting about YOUR team with calling it down the middle.  Good thing for me theRapids left me little to be smarmy about this week.

 

Weplayed flowing, creative footy.  We handled the rock with confidencethroughout.  We defended pretty well in the back, and even had a couple nicemoments of goal keeping.  If I was the soccer snob last week, this week I mustbe the 17 year old that thinks Luke Rodgers could play for the English NationalTeam.

 

Like Isaid… balance ain’t easy, but how good are we going to be once these guys playtogether a few more times?

 

MattPickens –Big one on one stop in the first half and not much else to do after that.  I’venoticed that Trick or Treat feels a little more comfortable playing it out tothe back four as opposed to bombing everything down the middle.  To me that’san indication that the Burgundy Boyz are getting more confident.

 

DrewMoor –The interim skipper turned in a classy performance this week, absolutelydominating on offensive and defensive set pieces alike.  His play on the endline in the first half probably saved the clean sheet.

 

KosukeKimura –Poor Kosuke had to hold down the sunny side of the field for the first 20minutes of the match, so both he and Mullan didn’t get a lot of chances toaffect things until the sun went down.  After lighting became a little morereasonable it was smooth sailing for Kosuke.  He was solid defensively throughoutthe match and had a couple of useful forays forward.

 

MarvellWynne, My Man of The Match – I gave Marvell a hard time last week, and itbroke my heart to have to do so because he’s one of my favorites.  All’s wellthat ends well though, because Marvell turned in an A+ performance this week,absolutely slamming the door on a quick and dangerous looking Oduro on multipleoccasions (to include an absolute game saver in the second) and cleaning upbehind Zapata and Kosuke when they ventured forward.  Marvell’s name rang out deservedlyin the terraces a few times in the second half and it was great to see himreturn to form.

 

LuisZapata –Defended decently when called on, went forward okay, and provided steady rhythmplay in the back.  Luis had a couple crosses get away from him, but other thanthat it’s hard to complain.

 

MartinRivero –Creative and smooth on the rock, unselfish, and energetic.  Rivero’s debut wasa success in my book.  As this thing simmers a little bit the squad will startto anticipate each other’s runs in the middle.  When that happens, Rivero’simagination will truly blossom.

 

JeffLarentowicz Back home in front of the back 4doing what he does best, disruption and distribution.  Nothing about theGinger’s performance jumps out at you on weeks like this, and quite honestlythat’s not a bad thing.  No temper tantrums or sketchy tackles either…which is either a good thing or a bad thing if that is uh… your thing.  Nevermind.

 

JamieCastrillon Linked up nicely with Rivero and Cascio throughout andpulled the strings with ease going forward.  Papispoke of patience before kickoff, and from what I can see patience is what Castrillon does best.

 

TonyCascio –Tony was all over the place this week, showing some vision and unselfishness togo along with slick footwork and shooting.  His confidence on the ball andcommanding presence is astounding considering he just played his fourth matchin Major League Soccer.

 

OmarCummings –Quick and deadly as ever, his unstoppable volley early in the second off asweet cross from Mullan put us up to stay.  I think Omar looked healthier andmore fit in the first four matches of this campaign than he ever did lastyear.  Dude is on an absolute tear right now… everything he hits with any kindof pace on it looks like it could go in.  The scary part is he still doesn’tlook totally comfortable in the offense yet

 

BrianMullan –Active all day.. had an assist, and ran his ass off like always.  Like Omar Ifeel Brian Mullan is having a little bit of trouble settling into his new roleas an attacking winger, but he’s fought through it with pure hustle and class. It was good to see him have a nice match and contribute in the attack.

 

TheSubs – Papicontinues to show some faith in Wells Thompson (get it?), and I think he’sfound the right place for him.  Coming on for Cascio up on the attacking winggave Wells a chance to use his athletic ability to get forward without puttingtoo much pressure on him to defend responsibly.  Papi may have found a goodspot for Wells.  Hill’s finish was classy and he looked good going forward… Ismell super sub.  Marshall helped us kill the clock. 

Thatslurping sound you hear is just me drinking the Koolaid…

 

Paul

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