The COSC Feed - Jun 4th 2012
Rapids Week Thirteen Match Report
Paul Merrit
Jun 4th 2012

Photo: Ian Forget / BSG

Vagabondweekly blogger Paul Merritt is back up and running with a new read for Rapidsfans to ponder.  Good to have our boy back and here is to hoping he doesn’t endup on the side of a milk carton again anytime soon.  If you’d like to submit anarticle to share, please submit to davewegner@aol.com.

 

“Therumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated!”

 

Man… Itseems like I’ve heard this one dropped in everything from actions movies toStarCraft tournaments.  Honestly I don’t even know who said it at this point orwho is ripping it off from whom.  It falls onto the page for me this eveningbecause those two guys from Kansas who commented on my last post probably thinkI actually DIED.  I’ve been essentially non-communicato with the American footyscene at any sort of depth for something like 6 weeks now.  Why that is I’mafraid may be outside the scope of this document… I’m pretty sure you guys wantto talk Rapids.

 

So…yeah… Who are we?  Are we the patient, physical dominating team with hustle fordays like we showed against Columbus, Chicago, and Chivas?  Are we the patientcounter punching squad that we were in the second half against KC?  Are we theslow team with a soft midsection that got easily mopped up by DC and RSL?  WTFIS GOING ON HERE?????

 

 In mybook we are pretty much where a team missing this many key pieces and with thismany new faces should be.  We’re figuring it out on the fly.  Some weeks itworks, others it doesn’t.  We’re the real life equivalent of a random numbergenerator. 

 

 

Threereasons I think we can be good…

 

Imagination–long gone are the hoof and chase Burgundy Boyz.  Our attack has an element ofpatience and organization that hasn’t been there in the past couple of years…even when unfamiliarity and all the new faces make the final ball hard tofind.  The kind of possession we’ve shown this year in games against Revs andthe Flounders will yield better results once that final ball improves.  It’slike Jenga when you play like that. Everything is easy until you get to thetop.  Our hands will steady as this group plays together and the drunken chicknext to us will be the one toppling the tower here soon.

 

ConnorCasey– Yeah I know he’s got a knock… but it’s still early.  I think we can agreethat his holding forward play since coming back has been nothing short ofsurprising, maybe even shit inducing depending on whose scale you’re using.  Iwasn’t sure how he was going to fit into this style of play, but then again Iunderestimated how creative dude can be.  Funny how he and Donovan are the sameage, but speculation haunts LA about phasing Donovan out and we still need our#9 as much as ever.  I’m not sure what that says exactly, all I know is we area better team with the big guy on the field regardless.

 

MattPickensSpeakingof surprising, Trick or Treat is having a banner year and probably kept DC fromputting about 6 goals on that patchwork back 4.  His performance in the lastmonth has been inspiring, especially when you start thinking about the timeMarvell Wynne and Kosuke have missed in the back.  He’s even trying to play theball out of the back some!  Teams draw confidence when the keeper is playingwell.

 

 

Tworeasons I think we could be bad…

 

Goodlord… we might be the slowest team in the league – So Rivero,Freeman, and Zapata walk into a bar, and the bartender says “sorry we closedtwo hours ago.”  ß That joke would be alot funnier if it wasn’t true.  I know… I know… if footy was all about speedand athleticism half of Bundesliga would be bagging groceries.  While that’strue in established 1st divisions around the world, the MLS is stillgrowing into itself from a touch and vision perspective, making speed and sizea bigger premium here.  Team speed can also dictate whether an attack hits ascrambling and disorganized defense or a compressed one with the back 4 holdinga steady and straight line.  Think of how many times we’ve seen the ballflicked around horizontally in the attacking third because the Boyz are runningheadlong into everyone that took the opposing squad’s bus over to thestadium…  

 

Injuries+ new faces = sucky situation – A lot of new players is one thing, a lotof injuries is something different.  Both are a way of life in a 34 matchseason played across one of the most spread out 1st divisions on theplanet, but when you combine the two and depth gets tested to the extent ourshas over the first 10 matches of the season, the whole campaign could rollover. 

 

 

Two thingsI have no idea how to evaluate…

 

Thisschedule– It seems like we’ve spent this entire first third of the season on the roadagainst the best teams in the league.  If we get healthy and the Toronto’s andPortland’s dates start rolling around, we could start pulling in points likemad.

 

WellsThompson???

“Why do we keep seeing this fucking guy??”

-- Everyone within 50 feet of me lastweekend

 

That’sa good question everyone.  All I know is A.)  Our Awesome Wells has seensignificant minutes under two separate regimes now, and B.)  If I were startinga new team and could only have two of the outfield Rapids on the field againstKC, I would have taken Connor Casey and Wells Thompson.

 

I haveno idea what that means for us… it’s just true.

 

So yea…This might not make it in before the Impact match.  Trust me, anything short ofa Tony Casico hat trick, a 5 -0 result, and a Didier Drogba signing after thematch wouldn’t change what I’m saying here anyway.  I have no idea who we are.

 

It’sgood to be back though :)


Paul

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