The COSC Feed - Apr 12th 2012
Rapids Week Five Match Report
Paul Merrit
Apr 12th 2012

Findyour old Pixies album and turn on “Where is My Mind” to set yourself in theproper mood for this week’s match report for Colorado v. Real Salt Lake.  Thefirst rule is we don’t talk about fight club.  However, Paul does have to talkabout what happened last week at the Rio Tinto.  Enjoy and feel free to submitany ideas and/or articles for publication to


So youremember that scene in the first 30 minutes or so of “Fight Club” where the skittishand depressed Ed Norton version of Tyler Durden is trying to go off to hishappy place and play with his spirit animal, only to find Marla sitting theresmoking cancer sticks in that awful road kill looking fur coat instead?  Yeah…welcome to having to play RSL with a whopping 4 matches under our belt.  Itjust wouldn’t be RSL without some seriously sketchy fucking officiating, acouple near fist fights, and colorful chants concerning the absurd familycombinations one could achieve through inbreeding.  Unfortunately for theRapids, we came away on the wrong end of this one.


Needlessto say, I’m not really a fan of having to go into Rio Tinto this early in theseason, especially when it’s painfully obvious at this point that we don’treally understand what we HAVE here yet.  A lot has changed since last year. We’re no longer a team that can sit back and absorb unending amounts ofpressure.  We’re no longer a team whose sole offensive game plan involves 30and 40 yard prayers to a holding forward or wave after wave of wing play.  TheBurgundy Boyz are slowly but surely developing into a team that can moveforward through the middle of the field with controlled and creative play,utilizing multiple pieces and clever runs/ground play to force the opponent’sback 4 into a mistake and then capitalize.


Onlyproblem with that is you have to have the ball to make it work.


Thisweek in lieu of individual player ratings I wanted to touch on someobservations I made during the shitshow against RSL.  In the sake of fulldisclosure, this change comes from the fact that I spent more time doing carbombs during the second half than I did watching it when it aired live, and tobe quite honest when I re-watched the match I did so more out of a sense ofduty than enjoyment.  If you’re wondering, you can find these excuses under“say this if you know you’re blog this week is going to suck” in the how toguide.


Anyways…let’s get this over with.


Firsthalf versus second half – To a man the Rapids made a big adjustmentbetween the first half and the second half and used possession to get back intothings.  RSL did a great job of pressuring, prodding, molesting, or whateverelse you want to call it in the first half and forcing us back into “old mode”…searching air balls down the middle of the field and disconnected play.  Asmuch as it hurts me to say this, RSL ball pressure in the first half – I’veseen Hooters girls in Mississippi absorb less harassment during a weekenddouble – was the main reason they dominated possession and got the early goal. To our credit though we came out in the second half and played the way you haveto play against that kind of pressure…  We shortened our lines, made the safepass, and worked the ball forward with confidence and control.  I actuallythought we had a good chance to get back into it before that awful handballgoal was allowed, and I would attribute that to a halftime change in mindset.


Weare great on the ball, but we have to have the ball – Along with thedisjointed play, RSL’s control of the midfield and great passing night forcedus into a very passive defensive posture.  We spent so much time sitting backbehind the midline under pressure and chasing short setup links that we couldnever really develop any ball pressure of our own and give our attackingplayers easier looks.  Doubtful that we will get out possessed like that manymore times this year, and it’s a good thing too because it submarines ourentire offensive methodology when it happens.


Ithink that’s about as good as RSL can play – We ran head firstinto a buzz saw with a tweaked line up and a new formation.  That’s one more“puke at the top of the neck” statement obviously, but unfortunately it’s thetruth.  Everything they fucking tried worked!  They got solid play throughoutfrom Olave and Beckerman, and Saborio looked poised to take it to the houseevery time he touched the ball. John Wayne didn’t live in every movie I suppose.


I wishI had more for you.  I wish I could look at one player’s performance or oneparticularly putrid call that may have swung things in our favor.  The fact isthough, we caught RSL at their best, and they forced us into some old habits.




P.S. The Marla from “Fight Club” analogy works well, especially when you considerthe fact that he’s banging her by the end of the movie… hopefully we get to showthem who’s boss in some kitchen gloves as our loser alter ego listens from downstairs when our filthy, grabby neighbors from Salt Lake come this way.

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