Drilling down on: Colorado Rapids 2, at Philadelphia 1


Man of the Match: Marvel Wynne used those speedy feet to get himself into all the right positions during an afternoon of critical blocks, clearances and interceptions. It wasn’t exactly handsome or smooth, but Wynne had just what it takes to help the 10-man Rapids close out a scruffy road “W.”

Packaged for take away:

  • Everyone along Colorado’s veteran back line had blue ribbon days, including Drew Moor – after his late sliding challenge nearly turned disastrous straight away, that is. Rapids right back Kosuke Kimura and left back Luis Zapata were solid, defending with authority on a day when their club’s defending in higher areas looked disheveled.
  • PPL Park is a bugger of a place to play. For everyone else, that is. The Rapids are 2-0-1 there.
  • The Rapids clearly are still adjusting to Oscar Pareja’s 4-3-3. They struggle to find their defensive shape quickly enough upon losing the ball, and it occasionally leaves Pareja’s men vulnerable.
  • Personally, I’d prefer to see Omar Cummings wide in the Rapids’ new way. He’s just not a target man, although his speed can stretch defenses.
  • The game could have looked very different; Moor tripped speedy Danny Mwanga just outside the Colorado penalty area, just seconds into the match. Referee Mark Geiger could easily have judged Moor guilty of denying a clear goal scoring opportunity, which would have put the home team on a man-advantage for 89 minutes.
  • Geiger is a young referee, perhaps with a bright future. He even did the FIFA Under-20 World Cup final last summer. But he needs to call a few more obvious fouls. When those go uncalled, players get frustrated and matches begin spinning out of control.
  • There’s no excuse for Jeff Larentowicz’s mad moment, as he crashed dangerously into Union midfielder Keon Daniel to earn a second yellow. Veteran players must absolutely keep their emotions in check (especially when sitting on a caution).
  • Union boss Peter Nowak left his captain, Danny Califf, on the bench for this one.
  • While all the goalkeeper talk will circle Philly’s young Zac MacMath (he allowed another stinker), this should be noted: Rapids veteran Matt Pickens needed to be better on Philadelphia’s goal; if Pickens gets his hands behind the ball (rather than beneath), he makes that save.
  • Clearly, Nowak and the Union have some “thinking” to do where their shaky young goalkeeper is concerned. More on that later …