Categorized | Match Reports

Now and then: Blended player ratings

Posted on 30 October 2010 by pshea

The Rapids beat the Columbus Crew 1-0 on June 5 and again in the first game of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday night (October 28, 2010). The following player ratings for both games range from 1-10 (with 10 being highest).

Colorado Rapids

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Matt Pickens (7): Pickens came out punching in the second half and withstood the shooting gallery in the closing minutes.

JUNE 5, 2010: Matt Pickens (7): Pickens organized his back line again to secure the shutout. At one point in the first half, Pickens, Moor, and Julien Baudet were very vocal and combative with their organization.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Drew Moor (8): Moor ruled the air on Thursday, including a nail-biting head clearance after a goal-line save from Pickens and before a boot to the face from Andy Iro.

JUNE 5, 2010: Drew Moor (8): “I think it went right over Scotty’s head,” Moor said of the free kick for the goal. “He had a couple bigger guys on him, and I was with one of their smaller guys, which benefited me. And Jamie put it into the perfect spot.”

Moor explained the first-half dispute with Baudet and Pickens. “When we’re on the field,” Moor said. “it’s a war. We’re in battle. It’s important that we keep each other on our toes. We’re a competitive bunch.”

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Julien Baudet, one minute (NR)

JUNE 5, 2010: Julien Baudet, 76 minutes (6): Baudet played solid at the back, crunching tackles and only handling the ball loosely once in the second half instead of finding Marvell Wynne on the wing.

JUNE 5, 2010: Scott Palguta, 15 minutes (5): Palguta maintained the shutout, and he attracted attention for the goal.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Marvell Wynne (6): Wynne stayed close to home on Thursday and helped limit the primary Crew attackers to four shots.

JUNE 5, 2010: Marvell Wynne (6): Wynne didn’t attack much, pushing the ball too far on one dribble to the endline in the box. But he didn’t let the Crew get behind him (except for Schelotto’s golden opportunity later in the game).

JUNE 5, 2010: Danny Earls (6): Earls bobbled the ball at different times throughout the game, but overall he was steady.

JUNE 5, 2010: Mehdi Ballouchy, (6): Ballouchy had creative touches all night.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Pablo Mastroeni (8): Mastroeni scored the game-winner and made more than a dozen runs beyond the strikers’ position to catch the Crew off-guard and open space for teammates.

“If we can get players beyond midfield, it throws them on their heels,” Mastroeni explained. “Once we got back there, our wing play gave us possession and allowed us to get further into the attack. That’s what we tried to do in the first half. But unfortunately we were unable to capitalize on all the chances we created.”

Cummings leaked free on successive plays early in the game, sending a number of passes on a silver platter for Casey and others. In the 23rd minute, Cummings found himself streaking down the right side again, and Casey snaked through the defenders’ blindsides and crashed to the ball at the near post. With a half-dummy, half-flick, Casey distracted the defense and allowed the ball to roll across the goalmouth for a sliding Mastroeni to put away.

JUNE 5, 2010: Pablo Mastroeni (5): The captain lashed out at Lenhart and created a hole in the Rapids midfield for their midweek visit to Chicago. Other than a sloppy square ball that could have easily turned into a goal, Mastroeni paired with Larentowics to dominate central midfield. (Red card, however).

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Jeff Larentowicz (7): Larentowicz took more shots than anyone on the field, and he paired again with Mastroeni to deny easy passage up the middle.

JUNE 5, 2010: Jeff Larentowicz (6): Larentowicz stabilized midfield and maintained possession. For much of the game, the Rapids worked the ball laterally through midfield and along the back line. But it was hard to penetrate.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Wells Thompson, 75 minutes (7): Thompson placed all the corner kicks well, and worked hard on the flanks to penetrate while keeping Eddie Gaven and Robbie Rogers from attacking much. Thompson and Brian Mullan switched frequently and fluidly.

JUNE 5, 2010: Wells Thompson, 60 minutes (7): Thompson cleverly collected a slip pass from Jamie Smith in the box and then cut it back to Omar Cummings in front of the net. But Cummings pinged the post.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Brian Mullan (8): From the opening play to the final whistle, Mullan had a complete performance. Like Thompson, he limited the Crew flank players, yet he also cut inside frequently to take shots and slip passes to a darting Omar Cummings.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Macoumba Kandji, 15 minutes (5): The ball didn’t bounce Kandji’s way much as the visitors pressed for the final half-hour.

JUNE 5, 2010: Colin Clark, (5): “I thought he put in a fabulous shift,” Smith said.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Conor Casey (6): When Macoumba Kandji replaced Wells Thompson, the Crew increased attacking pressure and tackled the ball with more success. Casey and Omar faded for most of this time period, although they pushed appropriately in the final minutes to secure the shutout. Casey cleared three free kicks with his head on defense, in addition to three shots for the night.

JUNE 5, 2010: Conor Casey (5): “I just didn’t think it was working,” Smith said of substituting Conor Casey. “For the first time in a long time, they had him bottled up. It was really difficult for him.”

“It’s a quick turnaround,” Casey said of the upcoming match in Chicago on June 9. “We want to keep our momentum.”

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Omar Cummings (8): Cummings raced behind the Crew defense in regular waves throughout the first half, particularly past Shaun Francis on the right wing. The goal was one of many occasions for Cummings on the flank early in the game. But Cummings didn’t see much of the ball toward the end of the game.

JUNE 5, 2010: Omar Cummings (6): Cummings had defenders on edge, but other than his first-half blast that Hesmer saved, his attacks and shots were not threatening. He hit the right post off a Wells Thompson pass in front of the goal, stepping ahead of defensive pressure.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Coach Gary Smith (6): “We took the game to them. You’ve seen a group of players that emptied the kitchen sink and played a good 45 minutes of football. And disappointingly didn’t get their just desserts. I thought we deserved more. Wells came in and did a fabulous job [for Jamie Smith]. The midfield in general was so competitive. They’ve given us such a good foundation to work from. They [Crew] are a talented, deep squad. There are players in that group that are very capable.”

Columbus Crew

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Andy Gruenebaum (5): The Rapids put only two shots on goal, and Gruenebaum’s defenders were especially diligent, blocking five attempts all night. Experiencing his first MLS minutes of 2010, Gruenebaum’s games in other competitions seemed to rust-proof him somewhat. He bobbled only once. He handled all the high balls and didn’t do any Santa Claus distribution.

JUNE 5, 2010: William Hesmer (6): Moor’s goal would challenge any goalkeeper, and Hesmer saved a blast from Omar Cummings in the 36th minute (a lefty from the top of the box).

JUNE 5, 2010: Eric Brunner, 55 (5): Brunner had one mistouch that forced him to clear the ball in the first half, but for the most part he helped neutralize Colin Clark and keep the scoreline knotted at nothing.

JUNE 5, 2010: Jeb Zayner, 45 (4): Zayner replaced Brunner shortly after halftime, and he was rumored to be more of an attacking back. But he didn’t push forward, and he didn’t attack the ball when Drew Moor scored the game-winner.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Andy Iro (7): Iro limited Casey’s chances and helped sequester the striker during the Crew’s closing minutes.

JUNE 5, 2010: Andy Iro (7): Iro dominated the air, and he joined with Marshall to muscle Casey out of his game.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Chad Marshall (7): Marshall forced Pickens to make a save in the 77th minute, and he spent the rest of the game preventing similar chances on the other end.

JUNE 5, 2010: Chad Marshall (7): Working with Iro, Marshall cooled off one of the most dangerous goal-scorers in the league. Marshall was tough in the air and on the ground.

JUNE 5, 2010: Gino Padula (5): Padula managed Cummings and stepped up into the attack.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Eddie Gaven (6): Gaven again sparked the most attacks for the Crew, although Schelotto delivered a number of well-weighted passes. Perhaps the Crew defenders deserve the credit, but Gaven never slowed down a quick counterattack from Columbus.

JUNE 5, 2010: Eddie Gaven (7): Gaven was the most creative midfielder for the Crew, spinning strawlike situations into golden opportunities. Gaven stole Mastroeni’s square ball and orchestrated the visitors’ best chance of the night.

JUNE 5, 2010: Adam Moffat (5): Moffat kept shape for the Crew in midfield, but his contributions were limited.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Robbie Rogers (5): Rogers didn’t have chances (no delivery and no dominance over his defenders).

JUNE 5, 2010: Robbie Rogers (6): Rogers shows the speed and spark to be dangerous, but he didn’t find opportunity against a well-positioned Colorado defense.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Guillermo Barros Schelotto, 68 minutes (5): Some of Schelotto’s passes were picture-perfect, but every challenge for the ball went the way of the Rapids. Warzycha replaced his engine and transmission when the warranty seemed about to run out in the 68th minute.

JUNE 5, 2010: Guillermo Barros Schelotto (5): Creative one-touches and attacks, but Schelotto missed a golden opportunity late in the game. Mastroeni slid a sloppy square ball through midfield, and Eddie Gaven stole the ball and sprinted toward goal. Gaven cut the ball to Steve Lenhart, who rolled it to Schelotto left of center but deep in the box. Schelotto fired the shot high over the bar.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Andres Mendoza, 22 minutes (5): Mendoza didn’t shoot or touch the ball very much, but his arrival on the field coincided with the Crew resurgence.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Steven Lenhart (4): Lenhart pushed hard to create chances out of limited chances, committing two fouls and failing to shoot at all.

JUNE 5, 2010: Steven Lenhart (6): Lenhart worked for opportunities, but he didn’t get a lot of service.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Jason Garey, 22 minutes (5): Like Mendoza, Garey didn’t take a shot, but he wasn’t one of the victims when Jair Marrufo’s whistle started to take on a hurricane-like shrillness for Rapids fans in the closing minutes.

JUNE 5, 2010: Emilio Renteria, minutes (4): Fouled Colin Clark moments after a hand-of-god attempt in the box.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Emmanuel Ekpo (4): Ekpo was involved in a lot of plays early in the game, usually on the losing end of the duels. He ran the full 90, but not effectively.

JUNE 5, 2010: Emmanuel Ekpo (6): Ekpo sparked the Crew attack when he came on, pressuring Danny Earls and creating fan anxiety.

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Brian Carroll, 84 minutes (4): Carroll uncorked a couple shots, but otherwise his foul on Kosuke Kimura on the flank was the only notable contribution.

OCTOBER 28, 2010:Kevin Burns, six minutes (NR):

JUNE 5, 2010: Mike Lapper, NR: “It came down to individual duels,” Lapper said. “I thought we did well tonight, but sometimes it’s a cruel game.” “We’re passing the ball well, but we need to work on finishing.”

OCTOBER 28, 2010: Rob Warzycha (NR): He didn’t expect to see any more from Lenhart and Schelotto for the night, and Mendoza and Garey didn’t contribute much individually, but they helped increased the intensity and create chances.

JUNE 5, 2010: Rob Warzycha, NR: The coach stayed home to celebrate a high school gradation, but he kept in touch on the phone throughout the game, including halftime.

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