Tag Archive | "Colorado Rapids"

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Game #20 Preview: Defending champs come to town

Posted on 29 July 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Colorado Rapids (7-6-10) vs. Philadelphia Union (8-4-7)
Friday, July 29, 2011, 7:30PM, Fox Soccer Channel
Chester, PA, PPL Park

Last year's match-up produced frustrations galore

Less than 24 hours after Bob Bradley was fired as US Men’s National Team coach and Union gaffer Piotr Nowak is already being thrown into the ring as one of the long-shot, MLS contenders for the top job. Let’s put that aside (especially considering there’s almost no chance it’ll happen) as the defending champions, Colorado, are coming to town tonight and the Union are looking to pick up where they left off before the “international friendly” break. After two spirited showings against Everton and Real Madrid – and more importantly no injuries – the Union will return to MLS competitive play with a strong and healthy squad. Compare that to the Rapids, who visit PPL Park without big man Conor Casey (ACL tear) and the possibility of several others.

Game Notes:

The Rapids have still put the ball in the net the last couple games, even without their best striker. Winger turned striker Sanna Nyassi flew through a flat-footed Red Bulls defense not once but three times to help Colorado to a decisive 4-1 win. Their last game, however, was a back and forth affair against New England, a 2-2 tie. Along with a surprise in Nyassi, the Rapids have two proven goalscorers in MLS All-Star Omar Cummings and former Hull City target striker Caleb Folan. You can expect them to start up front with Nyassi back at his original position on the flank.

The Union will be looking to extend a five game unbeaten streak and their last MLS regular season match was a 3-0 win up in New England that saw two new first-time scorers take centerstage. Carlos Valdes and Sheanon Williams scored their first and earned themselves an active but relatively relaxed week of international friendlies. Valdes and Williams didn’t look their sharpest against Real Madrid but we’re pretty certain that shouldn’t carry over into tonight. Valdes is also one more yellow card away from a one-game suspension but don’t expect that to make him any more cautious.

Believe it or not, Carlos Ruiz has scored in three of the last four regular season games. The Rapids have conceded 30 goals this season so one should expect that he’ll at least get his chances tonight as well. Ruiz has his haters and certainly has his flaws but if – at a little over the halfway point of the season – you were told Ruiz would produce at this rate, you’d take it no questions asked.

Both Carlos Ruiz and Danny Mwanga have an impressive history against the defending champs. Ruiz, the vet, has eight goals in 18 games against Colorado while Mwanga is batting 1.000, scoring 2 in 2 appearances. Le Toux has supplied the magic with 3 assists in five games. FC Delco product Jeff Larentowicz is having a huge season for the Rapids, netting four goals from the holding midfield position. A handful on the restarts and in possession of an impressive long shot, Larentowicz should play a role in whether or not the Rapids can get one by Faryd Mondragon.

INJURY REPORT: PHILADELPHIA UNION—QUESTIONABLE: FW Levi Houapeu (L ankle strain); PROBABLE: FW Veljko Paunovic (L hip strain) … COLORADO RAPIDS—OUT: FW Conor Casey (L achilles tear); PROBABLE: GK Matt Pickens (R groin strain); MF Brian Mullan (lower back spasms); DF Anthony Wallace (R quad strain); FW Omar Cummings (R ankle sprain); MF Jamie Smith (R hamstring strain); FW Macoumba Kandji (L knee ACL tear)

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Sounders one-up Colorado

Posted on 17 July 2011 by Hank Alexandre

Not even an opponent scoring three goals can stop the red-hot Seattle Sounders these days.

Behind goals from Alvaro Fernandez, Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero and Mauro Rosales, the Sounders knocked off the defending champion Colorado Rapids 4-3 at home on Saturday in a thrilling match. Seattle had to come back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, just as they had against Portland last Sunday.

“Who says soccer’s not exciting?” said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. “Obviously the character we showed again coming back after being down twice was superb. My hat’s off to the team in that regard.”

Both sides hit the back of the net repeatedly, but it was Mauro Rosales’s goal in the 84th minute to make the score 4-2 that proved to be the difference.

The result continues a sparkling run for Seattle’s offense. The Sounders have an undefeated streak in their past 11 games. They have scored 10 goals in their past 3 games in all competitions – all of which were wins.

Just one minute into the game, it didn’t look like the run was going to be continued. Seattle gave the ball away easily and it fell to Wells Thompson at the top of the box, who lashed it into a net to give the Rapids a 1-0 lead inside of 70 seconds.

But the Sounders didn’t take long to respond, tying the game back up in the 5th minute. Alvaro Fernandez received a long pass, shook off his defender and sliced his shot home.

Colorado would re-take the lead towards the end of the first half on another Sounders defensive mistake. The home side left Jeff Larentowicz unmarked at the top of the box, and he slammed a left-footed shot off the far post, past Kasey Keller and in.

Keller was not entirely pleased with the defensive play from his side.

“That was shocking,” he said. “Our discipline and defending was just not there today. The positives you have to take out of that is that when you have a day like that defensively, and you’re able to win the game, that’s tremendous. It shows a lot of spirit.”

The Sounders tied the game for a second time just minutes into the second half, with Roger Levesque flicking in a cross from Mauro Rosales. Schmid said after the game that he thinks Levesque is playing as well as he has in his career.

Seattle’s other striker Montero took the lead for the Sounders in the 82nd minute. Substitute Brad Evans’s shot was deflected up into the air by Matt Pickens, and Montero was lurking at the far post to poke it home with a precise diving header.

Rosales put in the 4th goal of the afternoon for Seattle just two minutes later on a breakaway – and it was a goal that would prove crucial when Colorado scored again in the 90th minute.

“We never give up,” Rosales said. “They scored against us and we always work out to come back in the game. We score important goals in that game and I’m very happy about that.”

After a week full of games and goals, Seattle will get a bit of a break with no competitive games in the coming week – just a high-profile friendly match against Manchester United, one of the top teams in the world. But the way the Sounders are playing, they might be capable of beating just about anybody.

“Right now we’re 22 games in, and we have some more games to go and we want to maintain this,” Schmid said. “The guys have gone through a good run and now it’s time to relax a little bit, take a deep breath and prepare for the next stage.”

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Game #12 Preview: Philadelphia at Colorado

Posted on 03 June 2011 by Breton Bonnette

The Union, coming off of their biggest victory of the young season, will now head to the location where they suffered their biggest defeat of 2010. The defending champions stand in the way of positive momentum for the Union heading into a homestand against Real Salt Lake next Saturday. The Rapids are facing a bit of personnel crisis with Omar Cummings, Jamie Smith, and Marvell Wynne set to miss this game but their squad has been proven deep as they still sit respectably high in the Western Conference standings.

Philadelphia Union (6-3-2) at Colorado Rapids (4-3-6)
Saturday, June 4th, 2011
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
9:00pm EST, The Comcast Network

Philadelphia Union Probable Starters




Mapp———————————————————————-G. Farfan

—————————Mwanga—————–Le Toux———————–

OUT: GK Thorne Holder (Concussion); MF Amobi Okugo (L ankle sprain); DOUBTFUL: MF Michael Farfan (R groin strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Gabriel Farfan (L hamstring strain); MF Stefani Miglioranzi (R groin strain); MF Zach Pfeffer (appendectomy); FW Carlos Ruiz (R groin strain)

Colorado Rapids Probable Starters


Kimura——————D. Moor————–Marshall————-A. Wallace




FW Macoumba Kandji (L knee ACL tear); DF Marvell Wynne (R hamstring strain); MF Joseph Nane (R shoulder strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Jamie Smith (L calf strain); FW Caleb Folan (R groin strain); FW Omar Cummings (R ankle sprain); PROBABLE: GK Matt Pickens (R groin strain); FW Quincy Amarikwa (L ankle sprain)

Game Notes:

The Union are coming off a historic win for the franchise, a 6-2 drubbing of Toronto FC at BMO Field. Both Justin Mapp and Danny Mwanga registered braces, Le Toux had two assists, and two youngsters grabbed their first ever professional goals – Gabriel Farfan and Kyle Nakazawa. The Rapids, however, haven’t lost in a while but – on the flip side – they have tied every one of their last five games. Last time around at to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Union were demolished 4-1 at the hands of Omar Cummings and the defending champions. It was their If Cummings plays – as he’s listed as questionable on the injury report – he’ll be the one to watch. A guy like Conor Casey, however, a towering target in the penalty area, could pick up the slack if Cummings can’t go.

Both Omar Cummings and MLS veteran Tyrone Marshall have opted to stick around in Colorado for the match-up against the Union. Marshall will be the one most likely to see some time against Philadelphia after both Marvell Wynne and his replacement Joseph Nane left their last game with injuries. The loss of Wynne could be huge as the Union’s speed down the flank and up top (especially if Mwanga and Le Toux start) should factor in against guys like Tyrone Marshall.

The five consecutive ties that the Rapids have accrued over the last month or so actually matches a Major League Soccer record. Regardless, the Rapids haven’t lost in seven games (but have only managed one win in that span). The Union will be looking for the three points obviously and for them to explode for 6 goals against Toronto FC, even without Carlos Ruiz in the lineup, was encouraging. Guys like Justin Mapp and Brian Carroll will need to build on their strengths in the midfield and when open chances are offered, they need to be taken (those two point blank chances early in the second half). They’re going to have to deal with a tough central midfield made up of USMNT veteran Pablo Mastroeni and FC Delco product Jeff Larentowicz.

Colorado is one of the best in the league on set-pieces. If Larentowicz sniffs the goal, he’ll go for it. The Union back four must minimize fouls trying to body-up on a target striker like Conor Casey or a determind Andre Akpan. Aside for 10 minutes in the second half in last Saturday’s win over Toronto, the backline was solid. They’re going to need 90 minutes against Colorado.

The Union recently cut ties with Chris Agorsor, the former youth star from the University of Virginia. Agorsor was cut even after playing the second half of Philadelphia’s match against affiliate club Reading United AC. Nowak had been saying he would get some playing time for Agorsor but it never came. His exit could be due to a request for playing time from the player himself or simply, that the Union feel they have better signings lined up as the summer window opens.

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Photo Gallery: Sounders 3 – Rapids 1

Posted on 11 March 2011 by dlindsay

Sounders FC closes out the preseason with a solid 3-1 home win in the Community Shield match over the Colorado Rapids. Photos provided by ASN photographer David Lindsay

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Photos from Union v Colorado Rapids at PPL Park

Posted on 14 August 2010 by tmclaughlin

The Union prepare to take on the Colorado Rapids

ASN Philly photographer Terry McLaughlin was on the field to capture some photos for you as the Union took on the Colorado Rapids on a beautiful afternoon at PPL Park.

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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week Fifteen

Posted on 20 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Week 15’s Best XI has several new inclusions as we hit the halfway point of what has proven to be a very interesting season. Kansas City, however, looking lost for the past several weeks, rode the quality play of their shotstopper to a much-needed week of results. The Union found more late game dramatics to secure three points at PPL Park, led by a fan favorite who just celebrated an impressive milestone. The battle for Player of the Week in the end went against the grain and to someone that has kept his squad in a match more times than any of us could count. Read on here.

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Saturday MLS Wrap: Philly edge TFC, Crew take control of East

Posted on 18 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Coach and player celebrate the Union's win ©TMcLaughlin 2010

Sebastien Le Toux strengthened his bid for an All-Star spot with a goal and an assist as the Union got back to their winning ways in front of 17,251 at PPL Park. Breton Bonnette reports from Chester, Pa., with photo gallery supplied by Terry McLaughlin.

The New York Red Bulls played another listless performance Saturday night and this time were punished by an efficient Columbus Crew squad. By taking all three points from the match, the Crew move five points clear of the Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings. John Zidar reports from Crew Stadium. The RBNY reaction.

The Colorado Rapids found themselves down by a goal 20 minutes into the match against the Kansas City Wizards at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night, but hometown striker Conor Casey scored the equalizer in the 74th minute and almost earned three points for his team with another shot in the 89th minute. Pat Shea reports from Commerce City, Colo., complete with player ratings from both teams so be sure to check it out!

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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week Thirteen

Posted on 08 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

A whirlwind start to post-World Cup 2010 life produced goals galore for some and continued heartbreak for many. Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles continue to show that their the cream of the crop while D.C. United and New England – once virtual locks for the top of the Eastern Conference – fall to the bottom of the league table. Week Thirteen’s player of the week is a maestro that has followed up a down 2009 season with a 2010 season that warrants all of the MVP talk surrounding him.

ASN Philly’s got the goods so check ’em out!

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Red Bulls stifle Rapids, 1-1

Posted on 05 July 2010 by ASN Staff

Perhaps taking a page from the U.S. national team’s performance at the 2010 World Cup, the New York Red Bulls recovered after a very weak start to salvage a point at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Sunday night. Juan Pablo Angel found the scoresheet again, equalizing off a corner kick to allow the team to earn a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids. It was the captain’s fifth goal in the last five MLS games and pulls Angel within one goal of the 10 tallies by the LA Galaxy’s Edson Buddle that lead the league. Skip right to the player ratings.

Colorado took the lead in the fourth minute. Defender Marvell Wynne found an onside Conor Casey with space along the right wing. Casey took it in towards the penalty box before hitting a low cross to Cummings, who one-timed it past goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul inside the left post.

The Red Bulls, now unbeaten in their last four matches (3-0-1), looked to get back into the game later in the half, with Chris Albright heading it straight at goalkeeper Matt Pickens. In the 33rd minute, Angel had a good chance to tie the game after he was put in on goal by Dane Richards. However, Pickens was quick off his line to block the Colombian’s shot away.

Angel, though, was able to put his name on the scoresheet just a minute later. Sinisa Ubiparipovic’s inswinging corner kick fell to the Red Bulls’ all-time leading goal scorer, who controlled it before firing a rocket into the roof of the goal. The tally was Angel’s fifth in as many games.

With the game tied, Ubiparipovic looked for a streaking Joel Lindpere into the penalty box and the Estonian rolled a shot that Pickens went down to save in the 42nd minute. The Red Bulls came out strong to begin the second half, with Angel putting a shot from 15-yards out over the bar three minutes in. Two minutes later, Richards had a golden opportunity to put New York in front, as he got free on the right side of the 18-yard box and blasted a shot that was punched away by Pickens.

Both teams endured strong winds and heavy rain especially in the second half, but the conditions did not discourage attacking soccer. In the 61st minute, Rapids midfielder Jeff Larentowicz tried to test Coundoul from 30-yards-out with a low blast on frame, but the goalkeeper went down to push it away. Six minutes later, Colorado’s Mehdi Ballouchy rifled a shot from 25 yards out that beat Coundoul and slammed off the woodwork.

The Rapids kept pressing to find a game-winner. Midfielder Colin Clark cut in past his defender and right-footed an attempt over the bar. Soon after, Casey got on the end of a Kosuke Kimura delivery and nodded it just past the left post.

Player Ratings

Scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest.

Bouna Condoul: 7
Can fault his positioning on the first Rapids goal, though in fairness there was a lot more that went wrong on that play. Had a nice exit in the first half, with his punch out leading to the sequence that resulted in the equalizing goal. Did well in the second, going down to grab an Omar Cummings cross off the feet of Conor Casey. His goal kicks are even reaching over the midfield line!

Danleigh Borman: 6
Looked poor on the first Rapids goal, giving up on the play as soon as the ball was by him. Had a few nice defensive plays on Cummings.

Tim Ream: 6.5
Was caught in no man’s land on the nullified goal by Bellouchy. A few shaky moments in the first half. Then settled down nicely. Something to build on.

Carlos Mendes: 7.5
Did a good job tracking Conor Casey and stepping in to space to pick off passes intended for the forward. Settled down nicely after the first goal, supplying much-needed stability to the team’s back line.

Chris Albright: 5.5
Was beaten by Omar Cummings on the first goal. A better timed slide might have picked that ball off. Seemed to struggle a bit with the elements, never appearing completely comfortable.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic: 6
Lackadaisical pass led to the counterattack that resulted in the first Rapids goal. But recovered after that. Great pass into space to Lindpere shortly before halftime. Still need to see more of him.

Seth Stammler: 6.5
Became more comfortable as the first half wore on, with some nice tracking back to win the ball. A few bad passes but otherwise his usual solid self.

Tony Tchani: 4.5
One of the most active Red Bulls in the first half, but this activity was not really put to optimal use. Seems to have caught a bit of the Dane Richards disease of holding the ball too long. Or maybe Dane simply passed it on to him? Either way, clearly struggled to find a comfortable spot in the formation and never really resolved this throughout the match.

Dane Richards: 8
Perfectly-weighted pass to Angel really should have resulted in a goal had the captain’s first touch not deserted him. The tying goal came on the ensuing corner though. Was also good to see him have a shot in the second half in a situation where he normally might have tried to dribble himself into a better position. Very few “Dane being Dane” moments and these were largely limited to the early stages of the match. Overall a very positive performance. Welcome back.

Joel Lindpere: 6
Was supposed to bey the lynchpin of the attack but was too inactive. Starting to wonder the efficiency of his high work rate. Chasing the ball will not necessarily help anybody. After being moved back to regular midfield in the second half he did a lot better. The morale of the story for Backe? Stop experimenting and leave him at a position where he has produced results.

Juan Pablo Angel: 7
Nice job on the equalizer. Was perfectly positioned off the cornerr and left no doubt with his finish. Even passed the ball well a few times. Can’t really pick on the guy after scoring the equalizer and being a solid threat all game long, but there were a few precarious moments early in the game. Still, he is clearly learning how to have an impact as a striker despite diminishing skills and mobility.

Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 1, Colorado Rapids 1, July 4, 2010
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, CO

Scoring Summary:
COL: Omar Cummings 4 (Conor Casey 3) 15’
NY: Juan Pablo Angel 9 (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 1) 34’

Disciplinary Summary:
NY: Seth Stammler (caution) 67’
COL: Omar Cummings (caution) 71’


New York Red Bulls (8-5-1, 25 pts.) – Bouna Coundoul (GK), Danleigh Borman, Tim Ream, Carlos Mendes, Chris Albright, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Mike Petke 89’), Seth Stammler, Tony Tchani (Salou Ibrahim 68’), Dane Richards, Joel Lindpere, Juan Pablo Angel (Roy Miller 84’)

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton (GK), Luke Sassano, Jeremy Hall, Conor Chinn

Colorado Rapids (6-3-4, 22 pts.) – Matt Pickens (GK), Danny Earls, Scott Palguta (Kosuke Kimura 54’), Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith (Colin Clark 65’), Mehdi Ballouchy (Wells Thompson 78’), Omar Cummings, Conor Casey

Substitutes Not Used: Ian Joyce (GK), Claudio Lopez, Quincy Amarikwa, Ross LaBauex


Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: C.J. Morgante, Brian Poeschel
4th Referee: Alejandro Mariscal

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RBNY go Mile High For Fourth of July

Posted on 03 July 2010 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls and first year head coach Hans Backe take their first trip of the season up to the Mile High City, to take on the Colorado Rapids at Dicks Sporting Goods Park.

The Red Bulls have an overall record of 13-15-3 (Wins, losses, ties) against the Colorado Rapids in MLS play, with four losses in a row and five losses out of their last six games played.

Last season, the Rapids beat the Red Bulls both times they met; in Giants Stadium 3-2 (COL: Casey(25,48) Ballouchy (60);NY: Angel (45) Borman), and in Dicks Sporting Good’s Park 4-0 (COL: Peterson (5) Noonan (47) LaBrocca (61) Ballouchy(67)).

The Red Bulls earlier this season hosted the Rapids at the brand new Red Bull Arena for a U.S. Open Cup qualifying match, where a reserve laden Red Bull squad beat the Rapids 3-0, with two first-half goals from John Wolyniec and a goal from rookie Conor Chinn.

So far head coach Gary Smith has the Rapids in third place in the Western Conference, and fifth place in the overall MLS table with 21 points. U.S. National Team member Conor Casey leads the team with six goals and two assists in 12 games this season. Mehdi Ballouchy is second on the team with two goals and three assists in 11 games played. When those two players are on their game, they are the two of the best in MLS, but knowing when they will play well has been a mystery to the staff and fans.

In their last game, on June 26, Colorado visited the Houston Dynamo and played to a 2-2 draw. Colorado scored through Conor Casey in the 45th minute, and an own goal in the 71st minute off of Dynamo defender Lovel Palmer.

Meanwhile, the Red Bulls came off their World Cup break with a very solid 3-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards, with man of the match Juan Pablo Angel scoring two goals late in the match to give New York their eighth win of the season.

Though the Red Bulls lost on Tuesday 1-0 in extra-time in U.S. Open Cup action against the Harrisburg City Islanders, they were given a boost in that midfielder Brian Nielsen, wing back Roy Miller, and midfielder Austin Da Luz all returned to the field from injuries.

However New York will still miss the services of midfielder Carl Robinson, forward Mac Kandji, and defender Kevin Goldthwaite. Midfielder Dane Richards was left off the weekly injury list, meaning he should be available to play this weekend, most likely off the bench.

The Rapids have some injury issues as well, with defender Julien Baudet, midfielder Ciaren O’Brien, and forward Ross Schunk all out for the 4th of July matchup. Defender Kosuke Kimura has been listed as probable.

An interesting point to make is that at the U.S. Open Cup match on Tuesday, coach Backe decided to make a few lineup changes, playing Jeremy Hall in the center of the midfield (usually he is a wide midfielder), Juan Agudelo on the left side of midfield (usually he is a forward), and towards the end of the match, played Andrew Boyens at center forward (usually he is a central defender).

Backe is not likely to make any changes from the lineup that beat Kansas City last Saturday, unless Dane Richards makes the starting 11, which is doubtful since he hasn’t played in almost a month. Juan Pablo Angel, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, and Joel Lindpere should be ready to lead the Red Bulls attack this weekend in the thin air in Colorado.

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