What a Wild Week for the Colorado Rapids
The work week finally concluded for the Rapids as they played two matches in four days. On Saturday the Rapids hosted Montreal in what was an absolute thriller in the final 10 minutes, then the club traveled down to St. Petersburg to play the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League in the 3rd round of the United States Open Cup Tournament.
The first match of the week was absolute atrocious, as the club played out of sync from the opening whistle. The Rapids failed to gain much possession to which they are accustomed too in the first half, though they went into the half with a one goal lead from a penalty kick by Larentowicz (min 18) and a solid header by Moor (min 39). The Impact continued to pressure the Rapids in the second half by controlling the tempo of their offense and attacking the center of the Rapids back line.
The Rapids then suffered a blow to their defense as Tyrone Marshall suffered a red card for his dangerous tackle. It seemed to be all Montreal from there on out, until the last ten minutes when the Rapids made several quick counters. The Rapids finally struck the net with a crazy set piece from the west side of the pitch making the final result a 3-2 thriller for the Rapids as they stole points away from Montreal.
The following match the Rapids traveled to St Petersburg to play in the 3rd round match of the USOC. The Rapids traveled with a roster mixes with starters and reserve/bench players. It was an opportunity for playing time for some players who don’t regularly get much time in the 18.
For most of the first half the Rapids fought off attempts from the Rowdies escaping with only giving up one goal in the final score line. The top performers for the Rapids in that match are Ceus and Castrillion. Ceus had to come up with several saves, entering beast mode at times. The Rapids will travel next week to face Sporting Kansas City in the 4th round of the Open Cup in LIVESTRONG Park.
There has been an interesting debate going on in Rapids land, as supporters are debating between playing our starters our near the same lineup as we played against the Rowdies. If you want my opinion, I feel the Rapids should take their starters and go for the win. This is possibly the easiest way into the CONCACAF Champions League as a good amount of MLS clubs are already eliminated from the tournament. I hate hearing the argument that players could possibly get injured playing in these kind of games. Well the fact of the matter is players can get hurt in training. Injuries are part of sports; you cannot go into a game worried about that.
I really hope the organization takes this game and the rest of the tournament seriously, as our previous front office brass said they would but never did. If the Rapids could advance past Sporting; which I believe they can. They could have some “weaker” opponents in the following round(s).