The Rapids battled for a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew on Saturday night. There were few chances between both teams and it took a fantastic header by Drew Moor in the 85th minute to earn the Rapids the victory.
Although the Rapids didn’t play at their best, their discipline and defensive fortitude was on clear display. Earls and Wynne had the unenviable task of shutting down Gaven and Robbie Rogers, respectively. Something that most teams in the league have failed to do. Drew Moor and Julian Baudet completely frustrated Steven Lenhart and limited Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Pablo and Jeff owned the midfield and kept the Crew from creating any chances. In the end, it was a defender, Drew Moor, that won the game for the Rapids.
The Rapids found a way to win on Saturday night. Despite playing a man down, the Rapids organized themselves and made the most of the one chance the had late in the match. Watching Drew Moor score the game winner and Colin Clark tackling in the defensive third to hold on to the win, shows that this team is willing to share responsibilities and find victories.
Pickens, 6: He came up with some big saves and kept the clean sheet
Wynne, 7: A solid performance by Wynne on both sides of the ball. Kept Rogers in check he whole match.
Baudet, 6: Still a few miscues but overall solid performance.
Moor, 9: Man of the match. Perfect defensively and the game winning goal.
Earls, 7: Another great game for Danny. He continues to impress with his quickness and ability to join the attack.
Larentowicz, 7: Won plenty of tackles in the midfield and showed strength on the ball to keep possession. Nothing spectacular from him tonight, but he did his job.
Mastroeni, 5: He made a few uncharacteristic bad passes, and a few terrible passes throughout the night. Besides that he kept the Crew’s offense under control. He loses a few points for not making contact with his two fisted shoalin worm fist.
Ballouchy, 7: Had a few moments of excellent play but Carroll and Moffat neutralized him for most of the game. He was forced the find the ball in deeper positions.
Cummings, 7: The Crew focused on neutralizing Omar, but he still found some space to run at their backline. His finishing is still letting him down.
Clark, 6: Returned to the starting lineup and put in a solid shift. Not as dangerous as he used to be, but made some plays for the team. Made some big defensive plays at the end of the game.
Casey, 5: Andy Iro and Chad Marshall kept Conor in check most of the night, leading to second half substitution. He made a few good plays when the ball was played into his feet, but his touch fails him a little too often. Putting your elbow into the ref’s face isn’t a good idea either.
Thompson, 6: He didn’t see much of the ball but made some good defensive contributions. Produced the Rapids best chance in the second half when he got to the endline and passed the ball back to an on rushing Omar, only to have the ball ricochet off the post.
Smith, 6: Didn’t see much of the ball when he came in but delivered the game winning assist.
Palguta, n/a: It was good to see Palguta get some time.
Post Match Quotes:
Columbus Crew, Asst. Coach Mike Lapper:
On the Crew’s the match:
“Our intention because of the altitude, maybe playing 3 games in such a short span, we wanted to drop off a little bit in first half get into the flow of the field, eliminate the space for Omar Cummings to run into so he would be limited on that side, let them build out the right, so that the couldn’t get on to a diagonal ball. I thought we did that for the most part. Second half we said, if you feel like we can go as a group, not individually, but if you feel like we can go, lets raise the tempo. we started getting a little bit more confident and I thought second half we played better.”
“It’s just frustrating, it comes down to individual duels and to lose it on a set piece, it’s hard.”
“I was pleased with everybody’s work ethic, attitude, and effort that they put forward, it was fantastic. unfortunately the game is beautiful and it can be cruel at times. I thought that was a 0-0 draw the whole time.”
On the goal:
“It was a great set piece, a good run, Drew moor gets his head on the ball. Like I said it comes down to individual battles, and he won that individual duel. The ball was there and he headed it home. Not a fluke goal at all, good service, good finish.”
On going into the break without a win in the last 3 games:
“If we were playing poorly and that was the case we’d discuss the issue, even the LA game I thought we played well. You go back to the three games, LA I thought we played well, just didn’t get it done, we battled well agains San Jose, and I thought we battled well tonight. You know just sometimes its a cruel game.”
“My hats off to colorado, they are having a great season. Gary Smith has got them giong in the right direction, they are a tough team to break down, and they proved that again tonight.”
Rapids Head Coach Gary Smith:
On the match:
“We’ve played better than that, there is not doubt about it, we’ve played better, we played better against LA and lost. So at what point do you say the performance is everything or winning is everyting, tonight winning is everything, because we have played well for 5 weeks or 6 weeks we haven’t always gotten our reward.”
On subbing Conor Casey:
“I thought the two centerbacks tonight, did as good a job on him as I’ve seen all season, and i thought if we get a bit of pace through the middle, there might be those other opportunities, where we could slide down the side of them, some fresh legs out on the right, and you know that might be the difference. it didn’t end up that way, but that was the thought process behind it.”
On the team:
“The players have showed some qualities that I think have not always been at the forefront of their performances, some real character, some great determination, and the willingness to not lie down and die.”
“Tonight we proved that we are improving, we have a good squad, a good group, a very tenacious group of players, who I think will push most teams to the limit at this point.”
Rapids Defender, Drew Moor:
On the goal:
“I think it went right over Scotty’s head I think he had some of the bigger guys on him, I think I was left with one of their smaller guys, which benefited me obviously. Jaime just put it right in a dangerous spot, just kind of right at the top of the six yard box.”
On the teams reaction to the red card:
“Honestly at that point you are happy with a 0-0 draw, Just becuase you are a man down, 20 minutes to go, its been a relatively even game, but when we do have our opportunites, especially on set pieces, we’ve got to commit bodies forward and try to keep them on their heels. And who knows maybe you’ll sneak one in the net, like tonight.”
On the win:
“Three points is the most important thing, everybody conributed to the three points toinight, and I think that is what we are most excited about. Definitley what I’m most excited about.”