Categorized | Match Reports

Tough losses with Colorado win

Posted on 08 August 2010 by pshea

An own goal in the 26th minute gave the Colorado Rapids a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night, but both teams lost players to injury.

Bobby Burling and Ramiro Corrales limped to the visitors’ bench, and Colin Clark struggled to reach the Rapids’ bench after he went down in the 58th minute. It was a physical contest with neither team putting a shot on goal in the first half.

Injuries hit the Rapids before the game even started. Conor Casey seems to have recovered from his head injury, but he hasn’t been able to train enough to be match fit. During training on Friday, midfielder Jamie Smith took a cleared ball in the head and was scratched from the roster to let his skull recover safely.

The game opened with San Jose in possession of the ball and tempo. Although goalkeeper Matt Pickens wasn’t threatened, the Rapids once again looked like the visitors in their own stadium. But Quincy Amarikwa took charge. Starting up front with Omar Cummings, Amarikwa sought the ball and started to put defender Bobby Burling on his heels.

With the momentum shifted, Wells Thompson ran down a ball and crossed it into the box in the 10th minute. A crashing Colin Clark slid to make contact, redirecting the ball off the left post. On the next play, Jeff Larentowicz blasted a shot that Burling deflected with a sliding save.

Amarikwa beat Burling again two minutes later, leading to another deflected shot. Amarikwa nutmegged Burling a minute after that attempt and slipped a pass to Clark, who crossed it to a closely marked Cummings (shooting wide right).

In the 25th minute, Amarikwa beat Burling again and opted to shoot instead of finding Cummings at the far post. San Jose defender Brandon McDonald deflected the shot.

A minute later, Kosuke Kimura pushed up the right wing and fed Cummings, who fired a cross toward Clark running deep into the goalmouth. San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch had a hard time reading the ball, deflecting it into the net for the only goal of the game.

Player ratings

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest.

Colorado Rapids

Matt Pickens (7): Neither team put a shot on goal in the first half, but the Earthquakes mounted an aggressive pursuit for the equalizer, forcing Pickens to make three crucial saves in the final 25 minutes of play. Bobby Convey sent a free kick on-goal, and Pickens had to dive forward to block the ball before Brandon McDonald creamed him. Convey blasted another shot in stoppage time, and Pickens deflected it wide. Pickens also left his line in time to snuff Cornell Glen on a breakaway.

Drew Moor (6): Moor minimized Arturo Alvarez, blocked a cross from Tim Ward, fed Colin Clark, and overlapped to receive a pass from Claudio Lopez and find Pablo Mastroeni in the final phase of the game.

Julien Baudet (6): Baudet connected on two headers off corner kicks in the second half, sending the ball high and retreating for crucial defensive plays at the other end of the field. Baudet’s crunching tackles and dominance in the air contributed to the shutout.

Marvell Wynne (5): Wynne started the game with a sweeping steal on the sideline and finished with only one scary moment because he was out of position (an improvement over the 1-1 tie with FC Dallas a week ago).

Kosuke Kimura (6): Kimura battled from the opening whistle to the end of the game, suffering fouls from Ramiro Corrales and other Earthquakes. Kimura pushed the ball forward to roommate Cummings in the 26th minute, leading to a cross that knuckled and deflected off Jon Busch for the lone goal of the game.

Colin Clark, 58 minutes (5): Clark showed flashes of his former self, forcing Jason Hernandez on his heels and sparking the crowd with a shot off the left post in the 10th minute. But the midfielder went down in the 58th minute, buckling under his own stressful cut. Although he eschewed the stretcher and limped off on his own, his body language told everyone that he and his left knee were in for a long recovery. Claudio Lopez interrupted his warm-ups twice to console Clark.

Mehdi Ballouchy, 32 (6): Ballouchy replaced Clark and sparked a flurry of attacks and extended possessions. Omar Cummings battled for the ball on the right wing in the 90th minute, stayed on his feet to prove advantage, and sent the ball across the field to a streaking Ballouchy. But Jon Busch had excellent positioning and timing to block the breakaway.

Pablo Mastroeni (6): The captain’s consistency maintained Colorado’s defensive shape and integrated him in the attack throughout the game.

Jeff Larentowicz (5): Larentowicz stabilized midfield and maintained possession. San Jose dominated the opening minutes of the game, but Larentowicz contributed to Colorado’s willful takeover when he responded to Clark’s sliding shot off the post with a blast that forced Bobby Burling to slide for a deflection in the 11th minute.

Wells Thompson (6): Thompson shifted from side to side, played aggressive defense, and attacked the San Jose defenders. The Earthquakes started the second half with the same dominance as the opening minutes of the game, but in the 47th minute Thompson collected the ball with his chest, darted through a crowd, and fed the ball to Cummings on the right wing for a cross. The Rapids maintained control of the game from that point until the closing minutes.

Omar Cummings (7): When it became clear that head official Hilario Grajeda was not inclined to blow his whistle after Cummings suffered repeated assaults, the Commerce City police might have received 911 calls from fans in the stands. But Cummings never complained.

“If the referee does not make the call, you have to play on, get on with the game,” Cummings explained.

Cummings finished the game with five shots and a barrage of dangerous passes into the box (including the cross that led to the own goal).

Quincy Amarikwa, 66 minutes (7): Amarikwa gave the Rapids a new look up front, and he alone changed the game in the early minutes to remind everyone that San Jose was not the home team. Amarikwa couldn’t battle the towering Bobby Burling in the air, but he was effective with the ball at his feet. In the 14th minute, Amarikwa nutmegged Burling and slipped the ball to Clark on the left wing. Clark sent a cross into the box, and Cummings got a step on Hernandez but hit the first-time shot wide.

Claudio Lopez, 24 minutes (5): Lopez seemed to have free passage through the San Jose defense in the closing minutes, resulting in a flubbed shot, a nice feed to Cummings for a shot wide right, and a shot of his own. Although he didn’t help defensively when the visitors increased pressure at the end of the game, Lopez helped shift the game to the other end of the field.

San Jose Earthquakes

Jon Busch (4): After giving up the own goal in the 26th minute, Busch seemed rattled and couldn’t hold onto the ball. But he came up big with two big saves in the final 20 minutes.

Bobby Burling, 41 minutes (5): Burling collided with Wells Thompson late in the first half and eventually had to leave the game. Although Quincy Amarikwa victimized Burling a few times, the towering defender didn’t allow any goals.

Tim Ward, 49 minutes (5): Ward didn’t seem ready to hop on the moving train when he stepped on the field before halftime, but he looked comfortable as the game progressed, pushing into the attack during the offensive surge in the closing minutes.

Ramiro Corrales, 80 minutes (5): The cagey Corrales had to leave the game after injuring himself when he fouled Kosuke Kimura from behind in the final 10 minutes of play. Although head coach Frank Yallop said he wouldn’t know the future of his captain until further evaluation, he figured Corrales might be out for four to six weeks.

Scott Sealy, 10 minutes (5): Coach Yallop said he thought Sealy was about “50 percent healthy,” but he had to use him when Corrales went down. Sealy contributed to the late-game surge.

Jason Hernandez (6): Hernandez made three crucial head clearances that would have been golden scoring opportunities for Rapids attackers behind him. He also redirected Cummings away from danger, sometimes with good positioning and other times with timely shoves. Hernandez went down with apparent cramps late in the game, allowing Claudio Lopez to slip through to the penalty box and force Busch to make a save.

Brandon McDonald (5): McDonald helped contain Cummings, and he prevented Julien Baudet from scoring off corner kicks.

Arturo Alvarez (6): Subtle and tricky, Alvarez set up the most dangerous opportunities for the visitors, and he forced Matt Pickens to make his first save of the game in the 69th minute.

Bobby Convey (5): Convey seemed to hide for much of the game, but he fired two shots on goal in the closing minutes when San Jose charged for an equalizer.

Sam Cronin (5): Cronin cracked a shot wide left in the 81st minute, and he slowed traffic straight up the field.

Joe Gjertsen, 64 minutes (4): Gjertsen blended into the woodwork, making his presence known only when the stadium announcer noted his departure from the game.

Cornell Glen, 26 minutes (5): Glen started the game with a forceful introduction from Julien Baudet. Glen slipped behind Marvel Wynne to collect a pass for a breakaway with a few minutes left. Pickens snuffed the attempt.

Ryan Johnson (5): Johnson held his own against Julien Baudet, combining soft touches with hard possessions.

Chris Wondolowski (5): Steady in midfield, Wondowloski also shot the ball more than any of his teammates (three shots).

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