Dillon Powers

MLS Snapshot: Sporting Kansas City 0-2 Colorado Rapids

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The game in 100 words (or less): Oh boy. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Sporting Kansas City are in semi-real trouble at this point, with one game left in the regular season, a one-point lead for the sixth and final playoff place in the Western Conference, and the defending champions LA Galaxy coming to town on Sunday. Wednesday’s home date with the Colorado Rapids (tied for second-fewest points in the league – 30) was supposed to be the week’s “easy” clincher. Instead, Sporting KC let a bad Rapids side hang for far too long, pushed numbers forward, left themselves vulnerable on the counter and eventually conceded a pair of late goals. Heading into Sunday’s “Decision Day,” Sporting hold that one-point lead on the San Jose Earthquakes, who will face first-place FC Dallas in Texas, while Sporting and LA do battle in the heartland.

[ MORE: Decision Day scenarios — Study up ahead of MLS’s final day ]

Three moments that mattered

71′ — Zusi hits the crossbar one on one with MacMath — Paulo Nagamura slipped Graham Zusi into the right attacking channel, where the Sporting midfielder found himself all alone against Zac MacMath, but Zusi’s powerful shot clanged off the crossbar and into the crowd.

78′ — Powers finishes the counter — The counter attack had been there for the taking all night long, if you’re the Rapids. Finally, after 78 long minutes, they found their breakthrough. Dillon Powers evaded a pair of Sporting defenders and chipped Tim Melia to make it 1-0.

86′ — Sarvas makes it 2-0 on the counter — As I said, the counter was their all night for the Rapids. Juan Ramirez and Marcelo Sarvas ran one out against a single defender and Melia, and the result was a second goal and Sporting’s season very much in trouble (with the Rapids now down a man).

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Man of the match: Juan Ramirez

Goalscorers: Powers (78′), Sarvas (86′)

MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 0-0 Real Salt Lake

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One game in 100 words: The Colorado Rapids had the win right there for the taking with a penalty kick, and against any other team–not Real Salt Lake, who have conceded only two of five PKs–this game concludes with victorious outcome. The Rapids had managed to stave off Real Salt Lake for the majority of the match; in fact, both teams really didn’t have much momentum in the attack, spraying shots wide or having threatening endeavors blocked down. Occupying the last two spots at the bottom of the Western Conference table, Colorado and the Royals could’ve really used the three points, especially in the midst of recent form.

 

Three moments that mattered

88’ — Foul, PK miss by Powers — Aaron Maud was faced with Colorado’s speedy Luis Solignac one-on-one, and once the attacker had broken into the penalty area, a little contact followed by a fall to the turf was enough to draw the PK. The Rapids had Dillon Powers take the ensuing penalty kick. A confident Nick Rimando bounced on his feet in the center of the goal but took a dive in the wrong direction. Powers aimed to his right side and luckily missed the post.

24’ — Missing the finishing touch — Javier Morales stood on the ball in Colorado’s half and Sebastien Jaime made a well-executed run forward to have the defense on its heels. However, while controlling the pass was difficult, Jaime kept it in bounds at the end line with a hard touch and header before dishing back to Alvaro Saborio on the edge of the six-yard box. Joao Plata provided the final touch but the Rapids’ back line recovered for the block.

53’ — Right at Rimando — Defender Michael Harrington had his attempted cross deflect back to him off Saborio and immediately found Marcelo Sarvas a few yards to his right. Sarvas advanced the ball to Powers and he knocked it over to Sam Cronin. The wide open lane on net was exposed. Nonetheless, Cronin was forced to volley, and his aim was skewed, nailing the attempt into Rimando’s chest.

 

Lineups

Salt Lake: Sebastian Jaime (Olmes García 63′), Alvaro Saborio (Devon Sandoval 80′), Joao Plata; Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave (Aaron Maund 6′), Elias Vasquez, Kenny Mansally; Luke Mulholland, Javier Morales, John Stertzer

Colorado: Luis Solignac; Clint Irwin; James Riley, Bobby Burling, Axel Sjoberg, Michael Harrington; Sam Cronin, Marcelo Sarvas (Lucas Pittinari 62′), Gabriel Torres (Charles Eloundou 82′), Dillon Powers, Juan Ramirez (Nick LaBrocca HT)

MLS Team of the Week — Stars of Week 6

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Week 6 of the 2015 MLS season is, somehow, already in the books — didn’t the season just start yesterday? — and it’s been a fun ride thus far, despite the severe uptick in 0-0 draws this season.

This past week provided the most shocking result of the young season, and for their hard work, the Colorado Rapids land a pair of players in my MLS Team of the Week for Week 6, a feat no other team can claim this week.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Week 6 MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

Kei Kamara finally saw some of his extremely bad luck from Weeks 1-5 turn good in Week 6, as the Columbus Crew SC striker bagged a pair of goals in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps, while Darren Mattocks reminded everyone in the same game — as he periodically likes to before disappearing for another three months — why he was the No. 2 overall SuperDraft pick in 2011 and long thought to be the league’s best young striker.

Thoughts? Questions? Agreements? Disagreements? (Of course not.) Leave them in the comments section, as always. I’m not afraid to defend my picks.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS Team of the Week archive ]

MLS Team of the Week — Week 6

Goalkeeper: Jaime Penedo (LA Galaxy)

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Defenders: Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC)

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Midfielders: Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Dillon Powers (Colorado Rapids), Marcelo Sarvas (Colorado Rapids), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City)

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Forwards: Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps)

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An end-of-season (mostly) uncapped MLS XI for Jurgen Klinsmann’s approval

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Last week both MLS and the USMNT were in the news for less than savory reasons, as Don Garber responded to Jurgen Klinsmann’s criticism of Michael Bradley’s MLS form with a bevy of strong words.

Here at PST, we like to turn negatives into positives.

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So we thought we’d prop up Garber, who probably would’ve been better suited to express his concerns privately, while sending out notice to Jurgen Klinsmann that he could do well by giving a look to some of these new (or relatively new) faces in his side at some point soon.

Some qualifications: Recently-capped but barely-used USMNT players like Eric Alexander (called up last January but having only two caps) were not included due to them clearly being on Klinsmann’s radar. Pre-Klinsmann capped players like Lee Nguyen make the cut.

Goalkeeper
Steve Clark, Columbus

Honorable mention: Bobby Shuttleworth, New England

Analysis: Clark proved his mettle in Norway and is now looking to be the real deal on American soil. We slight Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson due to actual call-ups, and Shuttleworth has to find that next level to challenge Clark… though his statistics dictate that a playoff run could help his star rise even higher (especially playing behind Jermaine Jones).

Defenders

source: Getty Images

Andrew Farrell, New England
Matt Hedges, FC Dallas
Steve Birnbaum, DC United
Sean Franklin, DC United

Honorable mention: David Horst, Houston; Chris Schuler, Real Salt Lake

Analysis: Farrell is probably a center back down the line, but works for our purposes outside. Hedges is an absolute beast and both Horst and Schuler fall victim to our numbers game.

Midfielders
Amobi Okugo, Philadelphia
Dillon Powers, Colorado
Lee Nguyen, New England
Ethan Finlay, Columbus

Honorable mention: Tony Tchani, Columbus; Kelyn Rowe, New England

Analysis: A Cameroonian by birth, Tchani will sit on the backburner despite buzz that he could be in demand by the States. Powers’ call-up feels inevitable. Nguyen has been dynamite and really seems to be the best example Garber could use of a US player using MLS to prop up his game after being abroad in Vietnam, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Forwards
source: Getty Images
Gyasi Zardes, Los Angeles
Andrew Wenger, Philadelphia

Honorable mention: Jack McInerney, Montreal

Tricky area here. McInerney is the big engine that hasn’t quite shown consistency, while the player he was traded for (Wenger) continues to impress. Zardes has to get a look soon. It would be criminal if he remains overlooked by Klinsmann comes January.

Major League Soccer’s draft: yes, it still matters

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We keep writing the obituary for Major League Soccer’s draft. It goes something like this:

Surely with all the other player acquisition mechanisms, and with such emphasis being hammered into every clubs’ academy and the attached efforts to sign home grown talent, the draft will be drift further and further toward irrelevancy, right? Or, at best, it will be deemed nominally significant as a player personnel tool?

Thing is, we’ve been saying that for several years now. And yet the annual college draft keeps churning out talent that gets regular feature in matches, with various levels of difference-making threat.

Major League Soccer’s pre-draft combine kicked off today; the league’s annual SuperDraft happens one week from today, Jan. 16 in Philadelphia.

So, let’s take a very quick look at how the draft continues to impact the MLS game.

In 2012, Darren Mattocks, Kelyn Rowe, Luis Silva, Nick DeLeon, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Austin Berry and Matt Hedges all went within the first 11 picks. All are solid MLS starters (or in Mattacks’ case, surely blessed with MLS-starter quality, even if his entire reserve of ability has yet to be tapped).

Four players from the same window of early selections in 2013 are already valued MLS starters: Andrew Farrell (pictured), Carlos Alvarez, Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers. Powers, Brown and Farrell were Rookie of the Year contenders; Brown took the honor.

So, clearly, it’s not just good talent that can be plucked from the draft; potentially greatness is there to be found as well.

After the first 15 picks or so, it becomes a real mixed bag. Yes, there are finds out there; New York goalkeeper Ryan Meara, RSL midfielder Sebastián Velásquez and Houston midfielder Warren Creavalle were all selected near the bottom of the second round in 2012 (between picks Nos. 31 and 37) and any club would be happy to have any of them today. On the other hand, 15 of the 19 picks from that round have yet to make a solid impact in MLS after two seasons.