Tag Archives: Colorado Rapids

Revolution Road Trip: Five Things We Learned

By Kevin Koczwara


The New England Revolution has lost four of the last five games, but the  team continues to show light and impress the eye despite not getting the deserved results. An impressive mid-week win over the Colorado Rapids set the stage for a highly anticipated match at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City with Western Conference powerhouse Real Salt Lake.  The Revolution took the lead but ended up falling to RSL, 2-1. The game was an open affair, the kind of game New England will have the upper-hand on for the most part with its talented midfield.

Here are five things to take away from the busy week/weekend.

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Why Colorado is Still the Team to Beat

By Ryan Fleming

It is hard to notice the Colorado Rapids. I mean that with all do respect. They don’t have any stand out players or names that shout MLS stardom or the best it has to offer. In other words, no names jump out at you. But again, maybe that’s the point of it all?

The Rapids most noticeable player is Conor Casey. Some might know Casey as a United States international, a rather hulking forward who uses his hard work and body to get the better of defenders. In the last three years, Casey has produced an impressive 42 goals in 90 appearances for the Rapids. What is so baffling is that no one really notices. It might his lack of glitz or glam, but no defender can really solve him.

This season the reigning MLS Champs are 3-0-0, and have forced a league-high eight goals. Now, you can point to their opposition, mainly the newly expansion Portland Timbers or lowly Chivas USA, but you cannot take away that their defense has allowed a mere two goals, while the offensive production continues to flourish. In the offseason, the Rapids added Irish international Caleb Folan to help bring out the best in Casey up front and to assist in help boost the offense production. Despite the oft-injured career that Folan’s can unfortunately be characterized, the Irish forward has bagged two goals, including one in the most recent 4-1 win over United.

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MLS 2011 Season Preview: Western Conference

Major League Soccer's Western Conference outshone the East last season, look for it to do the same this year as many of the teams only got better. (Courtesy Major League Soccer)

By Kevin Koczwara

There’s no disputing that the Western Conference was the better than the East last year. The two MLS Cup finalist teams, FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids, were both from the West and so was the top two teams in the regular season, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake. The West had six of the best eight teams in the league last year. This year looks no different. In fact, many of the teams out west have improved this offseason.

There is a major shake-up in the west though. With the addition of teams in Portland and Vancouver, the Western Conference has a true rivalry in the works in the Northwest and potentially two teams looking to follow the Seattle Sounders’s model and come out swinging from the first whistle, upsetting the established balance.

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Omar Cummings deserves chance at Aston Villa on loan to prove himself

Aston Villa is in search of a dynamic player that can ease the pain off of Gerard Houllier's injury plagued squad for the second half of the season. Omar Cummings of the Colorado Rapids could be just the type of player Houllier is looking for. (Courtesy Ben Sutherland)

By Kevin Koczwara

Aston Villa fans haven’t had much to cheer for this season. Former boss Martin O’Neil resigned a few weeks before the season started. James Milner sold his soul to the devil, Manchester City, after being the team’s brightest spark last year. Injuries have rampaged through the squad and tested a young and inexperienced bench from the start. Now, Villa sits just two points from the drop zone and a desperate need to turn things around.

With a desperate need for goals, Villa boss Gerard Houllier may look to Major League Soccer for a short-term answer if transfer funds are tight this January. It is believed that Houllier is interested in signing a short-term loan deal for Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings if the two teams can agree on a deal. Houllier will look for Cummings to bring some pace into his slogging squad that has been hampered by injuries to players like Ashley Young.

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Colorado Rapids Claim First MLS Cup in Club History With Grit

FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids battled into extra time to decide a winner of the MLS Cup. An own goal by George John helped the Rapids claim its first ever Cup. (Courtesy MLS)

By Ryan Fleming

TORONTO, Ont — It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pretty. But the Colorado Rapids proved to be the bully and forced themselves on the pinnacle of MLS glory with a 2-1 win over FC Dallas claiming the 2010 MLS Cup.

For more than 90 minutes, the Rapids manically forced their way up and down the field and when situations became dire, proved just resilient enough. FC Dallas and regular season MVP David Ferreira tried utilizing their positive, attack-minded game and force it on Colorado. For a little while it seemed as if the Hoops would have their way, jumping out to a 1-0 lead on a quick, line-drive cross that found a streaking Ferreira, who finished brilliantly between two Rapids center backs.

The score stood that way at halftime, but in the second half Colorado became the aggressor.

“It was physical play and the thing with physical play is it’s disruptive, so how often do you connect passes and if that was their game plan, it was perfect,” Dallas coach and manager of the year, Schellas Hyndman said of why his team couldn’t follow its game plan. “If it wasn’t their game plan, I would rather play like the way we play.”

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Few Things Before Toronto And Some Thanks

At the new BMO Field under the lights is where Colorado and Dallas will battle for the 2010 MLS Cup. (Photo Courtesy of owen_yeo)

By Ryan Fleming

A few thoughts before I head off to Toronto later tonight.

1. The game itself: It might not be the flashy, more glamorous teams of the MLS, but either way, I see these two teams matching up well against each other.
Kevin Hartman has the ability to be a game changer in goal for FC Dallas, but the midfield will be the key to the game, and with my playoff MVP, David Ferreira, commanding the midfield along with Dax McCarthy, I’m giving the upper hand to the Hoops.

Don’t be surprised if the Colorado Rapids can pull it out, though. If Omar Cummings played in a different league than the MLS, he would be getting more attention for his play. Colorado sure has a gifted player on their hands, and Dallas better be weary. The Jamaican international is a game changer.

2. My upcoming 12+ hour Greyhound ride: You might think I’m crazy, and even resort to names that would go against my better judgment. But believe me, I’ll endure the possibility of not sleeping, getting lost in Buffalo – where I’ll transfer at 3 a.m. – and the idea of missing my trip completely, rather than spend another $500 dollars I don’t have on a flight that frankly takes too long.

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FC Dallas, Colorado Looking to MLS Cup

Kosuke Kimura displays the MLS Eastern Conference Trophy after his Colorado Rapids defeated the San Jose Earthquakes last week. (Photo Courtesy Colorado Rapids/MLS)

By Ryan Fleming

Colorado has been there before. Dallas has not.

Dallas posted an unbeaten streak of 19 (20, if you want to count its 1-1 friendly against Inter Milan). Colorado had a mere streak of five – impressive in its own right, but not as dominating.

Come Sunday, dismiss all the numbers, all the stats, the “should-haves” and “did-nots,” and focus on the Rapids and the Hoops. No more analyzing the past, but hanging on the present as both sides battle for the MLS Cup.
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FC Dallas has Date With Colorado Rapids in MLS Cup Final; Hoops Beat Los Angeles Galaxy to Advance

FC Dallas proved its the best team in the Western Conference last night by beating Major League Soccer’s top team in the regular season, the Los Angeles Galaxy, 3-0. Dallas beat Real Salt Lake in the semi-finals to move on to face what looked like an unbeatable Galaxy team. Los Angeles manhandled very good Seattle Sounders team in the semi-finals.

Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman cemented his place as the league’s best man between the pipes this year with a handful of spectacular saves. And David Ferriera proved, again, that he is the best player in the MLS this season and the league’s MVP. The Hoops midfielder pulled all the right strings and scored the match winner while assisting another another goal.

(Related: David Beckham injured during semi-final.)

The Hoops have now beat both of last year’s MLS Cup finalist on their way to the MLS Cup final. Next up, an impressive Colorado Rapids team lead by the dangerous Omar Cummings.

[Highlights after the jump.]

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How the West Will Be Won; MLS Cup Playoffs Continue

By Kevin Koczwara

So far my predictions haven’t played out so well. I thought New York would be able to walk over San Jose on Thursday night. I was wrong. San Jose stormed into New York and got the two goal win the team needed after falling behind, 1-0, in the home leg less then a week earlier.

The Quakes, 3-1, win in New York was astonishing and entertaining as Bobby Convey put on his best Steven Gerrard performance.

Both Gerrard and Convey almost single-handily took their team from the brink of lossing, and put the game on their shoulders.

Gerrard’s second half hat-trick in Liverpool’s 3-1 win at Anfield over Napoli in a UEFA Cup match was just another miracle moment for the 30-year-old. Coming on as a substitute and leading the Reds back from the brink of a loss isn’t anything new for him – check 2005 Champions League Final and the 2006 FA Cup win over West Ham, just for a few.

Convey did similar to Gerrard on Thursday in New York, but with a twist. Convey and the Quakes were down a goal and playing at a raucous Red Bull Arena, yet Convey pulled his team level on aggregate with a 6th minute goal from just inside the box.

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Red Bulls and Rapids Need to Build Off of Last Week's Wins in MLS East Semi-Finals

New York Looks to End Wondo and Quakes Miracle Run

By Kevin Koczwara

The New York Red Bulls have made an amazing turnaround from last season’s poor form, abysmal really. And so have the San Jose Earthquakes, thanks in large part to the play of Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski.

Wondo’s 18 goals this season for the Quakes were more than half of the team’s total and led the league, the man was simply on a roll since breaking into the squad’s starting 11. But the striker was shut down in the first leg of the two leg fixture with New York.

Newcomer Joel Lindpere for the Red Bulls put his mark on the MLS Cup playoffs with the winning goal in the first leg in San Jose. Lindpere has been the sparkplug in the Red Bulls’ engine this season and his goal last weekend put New York in the driving seat for tonight’s fixture at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

New York should be able to handle Wondo and company, especially if French striker Thierry Henry has finally recovered from his knee injury. The former Barcelona and Arsenal striker hasn’t played in three matches and could be the final missing attacking piece for New York in the playoffs and his presence along with Juan Pablo Angel should be able to push the Quakes on the counter-attack as San Jose tries to score the two goals the team needs to advance.

Rapids Try to Sweep Crew Away

The Colorado rapids set the stage for the MLS Cup playoffs last Thursday with Pablo Mastroeni’s game-winning goal. The Rapids took the first leg of their semi-inal playoff match with the Columbus Crew, 1-0, in Colorado and will look to keep their one-goal advantage in Columbus against a Crew team that has enjoyed success in front of its home crowd this season with a 10-3-2 record.

The Crew will have to overcome the one-goal deficit to beat a solid Rapids team that doesn’t travel well (4-6-5), but boasts Omar Cummings and Conor Casey in the attack. Cummings was a handful for the Rapids in Colorado last week, and will surely try to be as effective this Saturday. The Crew will have to find a way to keep Cummings away from the penalty area and slow his runs out wide that open up space for Casey and the Rapids’ midfield down. If the Crew can’t contain the Jamaican international, it will be another long night for Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum who is filling in for injured William Hesmer.

If Colorado can lock up an early goal, the team will more than likely be moving on to play the winner of New York and San Jose in the quarter-inals because a two-goal deficit is a lot to overcome in one game when Matt Pickens is goal for the opponent. Pickens had a .733 save percentage in the regular season and worked in seven shutouts in 2010. He has been a steady goalkeeper in the MLS since getting the full-time job in 2007 for the Chicago Fire.

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