Man of the Match
For a guy like Conor Casey, two goals and three assists in 18 games is not where he wants to be. He was coming back off a major injury this year, so it’s only fair to cut the guy some slack for a while. Still, those numbers …
So it was good to see Casey have a busy and effective night with lots of good hold-up play and more than a few swell passes. There were not a ton of wonderful chances created on either side Sunday, especially not after about 25 minutes, when the air kind of went out of this match. But what Colorado did muster offensively usually went through Casey, who picked up the assist on the Rapids first-half equalizer.
Packaged for take-away
- With Christian Wilhelmsson injured, and with Marcelo Sarvas performing so well lately, bringing David Beckham back into the Galaxy lineup was easy. Sarvas, who had been playing inside in Beckham’s absence, simply slid out to the right in midfield while Beckham re-occupied his usual deep-lying playmaker role alongside Juninho.
- Let’s not take anything away from Sarvas for his solidly hit early goal, but we should acknowledge the criminally poor defending that set up such a fierce start. The Rapids fell asleep on a Galaxy throw-in and then failed to find a bit of urgency in attempts to clear a ball pinging around their penalty area.
- Five minutes later, Galaxy attackers got a little too unselfish, making one pass too many as the Rapids’ defense crumbled yet again. Colorado was lucky not to be down by two after 14 minutes.
- Los Angeles looked fairly comfortable, stroking the ball around and not really being pressed out of a comfort zone when Jaime Castrillon’s late run into the penalty area wasn’t picked up by the visiting defenders. His 16th minute equalizer seemed to shake the Rapids from their funk; they were being had up to that moment.
- From there Omar Cummings and right back Hunter Freeman were finding all kinds of room on the right, creating trouble for the visitors, especially after rookie center back Tommy Meyer replaced injured starter A.J. DeLaGarza.
- Let’s hope this isn’t something long-term for DeLaGarza; he needed a lot of help getting off the field.
- Freeman had a strong night; no outside back on either side was more committed to joining the attack. His defensive work was quite adept, too, as the Galaxy presented little trouble down his side.
- Next time one of the Galaxy players complains about not getting the calls, you might like to point out the 68th minute, when Gonzalez took a swing at the ball and completely wiped out Castrillon inside the Galaxy penalty area. Referee Allen Chapman was right behind the play and appeared to have a good look at it, but decided against it.