Friday, October 29, 2010

Can Colorado Hold On?

Colorado Rapids beat the visiting Columbus Crew 1-0 last night on a goal from Pablo Mastroeni to open up the MLS Cup Playoffs. But Colorado had numerous chances to put the game, and the series, away and failed to do so. Will that come back to haunt them next week when they play the leg in Columbus?

The match was very entertaining with lots of attacking and chances (although most of them were for Rapids). If you didn't manage to catch the match, the highlights are right below this paragraph and you can read match reports from the Denver Post or Columbus Dispatch to get a little hometown flavor.

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So now the obvious question is can Colorado hold on and win? After Columbus came out strong to open the game, Colorado dominated play for 75 minutes. No one on the backline seemed to be able to mark Cummings or Casey, Anthony Wallace was flying down the left wing with basically nothing stopping him, and Larentowicz and Mastroeni were stopping every Columbus attack before it even crossed midfield. It was a clinic in how to play the game.

Except that Colorado only got one goal. And then Columbus started to turn things around in the last 10 minutes. Suddenly they were the team attacking on all cylinders, finding guys unmarked in the box, and keeping possession of the ball. If Columbus comes out next week and plays like this at home, it could be a long game for the Rapids.

Not to mention, we saw Colorado blow a 2-0 lead at home the week before against Real Salt Lake. Is it possible that this team is just a little mentally weak, especially with them not having the post-season experience of a squad like Columbus?

I picked Colorado to win this series, and I still think they can, but it's going to be a lot more exciting than I thought it would be at halftime.

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