Sunday, March 11, 2012

Crew Round 1 Recap: Deserved Loss

The Colorado Rapids scored right before half (44th min), another near the end of the game (89th) and shutout the Crew for a 2-0 win.

From the start there was an opening game feel to this one. In the first 10 minutes there were 7 fouls, a hand ball and two injury stoppages.

The injured players were Crew. Chad Marshall took (another) slight shot to his head in the first couple minutes then, 5 minutes later, Dilly Duka went down with a leg problem that had him leave the game.

The game stayed messy but the Rapids were able to pull together a few good spells of passing and possession.

Key to this Game: PASSING
If it felt like Crew passing was off, it's because it was. SUCCESSFUL PASSING RATES: 69% CREW, 73% RAPIDS

Individually, the Crew only had two guys with a passing rate above the Rapids team average (O'Rourke 86%, Marshall 74%). For the Rapids it was three solid mid-fielders: Mastroeni (90%), Castrillon (84%), and Larentowicz (75%) who controlled the action over the Crew's two best in Gaven (72%), Mirosevic (70%).

The Crew's other mid-field players struggled a bit more with passing. Kirk Uro (69%), Tchani (67%) and Finlay (65%). Speed, accuracy, and decision making were left wanting.

The Rapids were asking the most of questions and that left Crew mid-fielders Urso, Tchani and Finlay playing back. Because of that defensive posture, the Crew were out shot 17 to 5.

It's worth mentioning that the two Crew professional soccer debutantes (Urso and Finlay) showed hustle and grit in the face of a challenging situation.

Even with a new coach, Colorado fielded a familiar team with many of the same experienced parts as last year.

The Crew, on the other hand, started with little year over year consistency.

Of the 14 Crew players that saw time, only 6 were regulars last year. You could see and feel the frustration of this unfamiliarity play out on the (normally not frustrated) faces of Miranda and Gaven most of the game.

Warzycha's gameplan was to pull a point from this game but his execution of it was sloppy. Two college kids and a 6'4 man-child getting significant minutes during a season opener doesn't synchronize well with trying to earn a draw. Especially at high altitude and especially when a couple slightly more experienced game ready (not practice / scrimmage ready) players (Anor and Gehrig) might have kept this one more level.

The time of goals show that it was Colorado's experience, consistency and the full 90 minute effort that won them this game against a very unprepared group.

No comments: