Sunday, August 9, 2015

Match Notes: Colorado Rapids v. Columbus Crew SC

Why I Watched It:
Because, as a blogger, I understand how important it is to have someone paying attention to what you’re doing. Here's to you, Columbus Crew SC. And, cheers, the Colorado Rapids.

It was more fun than Seattle v. LA, certainly, sort of the middleweight bout to their heavyweight affair: more movement, more foot-work, more punches thrown. Probably less confidence out there, too, which can be a useful spur. When the play-by-play guy (don't care about his name) said to Marcelo Balboa that this game had "0-0 written all over it," I laughed right along with 'Celo. Especially after he said that immediately after Columbus literally hit the crossbar twice inside a second. This was a damned even affair, all in all, even if one weighted with prior thoughts and assumptions about both teams, among them: did Columbus finally come out on top of the offense-v.-defense argument (as in, they won) because Colorado's sorry offense couldn't push their iffy defense hard enough? (Probably.) What does it mean that the Rapids kept pressing and nearly equalized to the very end? (That Columbus' defense is probably as bad as it seems.) And this means Columbus can score against anyone, right? (Going with "yes" on this one.) All in all, count this a good, necessary win for Columbus. As for Colorado...I'm sensing a theme.

Notes on Colorado
- Axel Sjoberg, good as he is, got worked hard enough by Kei Kamara tonight to pick up a couple yellas. More below.
- This will sound shitty, but still: in spite of making two outstanding saves last night, I think Clint Irwin is shaky, both as a shot-stopper and on the distribution end of things. He has a very good defense in front of him. They can do better. I'm pretty sure.
- Jared Watts did very well tonight. He didn't carry the game to Columbus, but he acquitted himself very well as an omnipresent #8 (maybe; #6?), and dished the ball well and safely. Yeah, yeah, I rip Timbers players for the same, but Watts is a stand-in...
- ...though, curiously, with two of the regulars present and accounted for: both Marcelo Sarvas and Sam Cronin started….about where Watts did. There's a line-up question in there that may or may not address the Rapids' iffy offense.
- This team is a mystery, full stop. Whatever my misgivings, the team Pablo Mastroeni trotted out worked well and his substitutions made enough sense, and the Rapids pushed all the way to the final whistle – as in, really pushed. Their players did smart things in the attack, and...well, it just didn't work out, did it? me...

Notes on Columbus
- The way they insist on playing out of the back is just vanity at this point. Much more on Tuesday.
- Kamara is such a pain in the ass, that he got a good, if rookie, defender sent off. Damn.
- Tony Tchani was an absolute fucking beast tonight. He fed Kamara for the first goal, played the ball to Christian Jimenez that set up Crew SC's second, while also holding down all kinds of shit defensively all over the field. Am I saying heir apparent to Kyle Beckerman? Yes, I am. Dammit! I need a bigger platform for this...
- I like that they did the rotation thing, putting in Kristinn Steindorsson in order to spell Justin Meram. MLS has a long, dumb season. A big part of getting your best players on the field at the End Times comes with knowing who's your best player. So, test that shit.
- And give Federico Higuain a turn. He looks old as my dad's dad.
- Wil Trapp is faster than I thought. He's another one to watch...just, y’know, glance outside Germany, Jurgen.
- OK, with Tchani and Trapp shielding the back four, how is Columbus this dodgy defensively?

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