Assessing the Burgundy Debacle

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my latest at the Burgundy Wave, called Assessing the Burgundy Debacle–This Much I Know. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m glad I’m assigned to write on Mondays rather than immediately after games such as the one on Friday night.  All of us had such high hopes after Jose Mari’s killer curve around Nick Rimando.  Then those hopes were dashed by four quick goals (mercifully only one in the 2nd half), two bobbled handles and an own goal by GK Joe Nasco (a shame–he’s a class guy).  As for the aforementioned Rimando, I almost wanted to give him a chair and something to drink in the second half–he didn’t have to work hard at all.

This much I know…

Click here to read the rest.

Is There Any Point in Watching the Rapids Play RSL? Absolutely!

10616037_10152677025156465_8065321239415636734_nReal Salt Lake secured the Rocky Mountain Cup August 2nd–it just so happened I was visiting family in Kentucky.  I cannot help but think that my absence from the South Stands at DSGP played a significant role in not only losing the RMC, but starting us on the schneid to beat all schneids.  So…

You’re welcome.

My friend and I had made tentative plans to drive to Rio Tinto to see Colorado (rightfully) claim the Cup again on enemy soil–but when they lost, so did our ambition to head west.

The Rapids sit five points behind Portland, still technically in the playoff hunt, but for all intents and purposes out of it.  The momentum is gone, there’s much silence from the front office (except for the releasing of John Metgod from the coaching staff).  Questions abound from the fanbase regarding our rookie coach, our turnstile-imitation in goal (Irwin then Nasco then Berner then Nasco–Clint?  O Clint, where art thou?), our depleted backline–sigh.

Do any reasons exist to watch the Rapids play RSL?  Yes!

  1. A win in Rio Tinto will somewhat salvage the season.
  2. Believe it or not, we are still in the playoff hunt.
  3. The game is nationally televised on NBC Sports–so we need to help MLS’ ratings (yes, that’s right!).
  4. Marlon Hairston, former Louisville Cardinal standout, is gonna tear it up–you watch!
  5. Who will replace Nick LaBrocca?
  6. Who will Pablo’s Starting XI be?  Yes, it’s been more stable of late, but it’s still a fun game to see who he’ll put out there.
  7. Will our DP see the pitch? (He’d better!  Come on!)
  8. We are Rapids fans–where else would we be?

What are your reasons for watching/not watching tonight in what is becoming a lost season?

Whatever they are–watch!!  Our boys in burgundy need you!

Rapids Run Rampant on the Montreal (No) Impact (5.26.2014)


Now those are the Rapids I’ve been waiting for!  A 4-1 win at a game that, in hindsight, I should have attended in my beloved south stands (not one drop of rain), but even so–what a tremendous win (highlights here).  We now stand third in the Western Conference at this point, with two tough home games coming up:  June 1st against the Houston Dynamo, and a mid-week game on June 4th against Mike Magee and the Chicago Fire.  

Some takeaways:

  1. How nice to be 3-0 against all our neighbors to the north.
  2. Congratulations to Shane O’Neill in getting his first MLS goal.  And what a beauty it was in the upper 90.  Another aggressive piece of the starting XI.  
  3. Speaking of the starting XI, I liked it.  Edson Buddle seemed much more active, Jose Mari is marvelous on offense and defense, Dillon Powers had his brace.  Deshorn Brown came thiiiiis close a number of times.  And where in the world did that goal from Kamani Hill come from?  I hope that will provide more confidence for him moving ahead.  I don’t know if it was the (lack of) Impact, or what?  Could it be…
  4. Coach’s rant at halftime?  Deshorn (recently called up by Jamaica for World Cup play) noted after the game:  “Coming in a yelling at players to lift their head up, and start doing the job they’re supposed to do. He finally woke the guys up and they started to play the game the way it should be played.”  I’m encouraged that Coach made the appropriate adjustments–and that the players responded.  
  5. Clint Irwin‘s one-on-one save of a Justin Mapp attempt in the 8th minute set the tone for the defense. While Irwin has had some challenges in a few games this year, for the most part he has been a stalwart between the sticks.  Montreal did well in maintaining possession–but fortunately the Rapids stayed aggressive when they did have the ball.  Having a 4-0 lead does help the defense.

What were some of your takeaways?  Here’s hoping the Rapids can ride the Big Mo(mentum) into next week.  Let’s hear from you in the comments, or via Twitter (@rapidsxtra).  Let me know what I missed.  Let me know what I got right or wrong.  Either way, any conversation about our beloved Rapids is a good day.  



All Who Have Put On the USMNT Kit Contributed–Thank You

My Monday Morning ‘Daily Wave’ is up at the Burgundy Wave.  This article was most personal in that it was a tribute to my nephew, Gray Griffin (1984-2002), who was the captain of the U17 USMNT squad that played in the 2001 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago–while also interacting with Landon Donovan’s cut from the Klinsmann Krew.  

So from Donovan to Griffin, everyone contributed to where we are now.  For the good.  And for the glory of the USA. While this may serve as little consolation, the seven that Klinsmann cut will have played a significant part in building the team and leaving a legacy to which they themselves contributed.

Read the rest here.  


Question from a Newbie: Can Some Explain to Me Jose Mourinho?


Being a relative newbie to the Premiere League, I sat back in fascination in listening to Jose Mourinho, manager for Chelsea FC.  Those who have been on the European Football track understand and even accept Mourinho–possible due to his success.  I see what he says about his players (the latest openly questioning Samuel Eto’o’s age), about other players, and other managers–most notably Arsene Wenger of Arsenal FC (whom he called a ‘specialist in failure’).  

So why?  Can someone explain to me the ins and outs of the Chelsea boss?  How about all you Chelsea fans?  Do you love your boss, tolerate him due to his success, or wish he would go?



Latest Post at the Burgundy Wave: Motivation–Too Little, Too Late

I’ve been brought on to contribute to the Monday Daily Wave at the Burgundy Wave, a Colorado Rapids SB Nation blog.  Here’s an excerpt and a link to my first entry: Motivation–Too Little, Too Late!  Why?   Thanks to Chris White for bringing me on.

When Real Salt Lake went up 2-0, the Rapids kicked in. But why did it take so long to get motivated?

After the referee awarded a (questionable) penalty kick that put them up, the Rapids looked like a different team.  Brown and Moor had numerous chances, Serna made a nifty move between two defenders to almost put one in near post.  Then, finally, Drew Moor broke through with a nice header (third time’s a charm).  I could go on.  But the point is, the Rapids looked like a far more energetic team than they did even when down 1-0.

After writing this article, I came across  this postgame interview, where Drew Moor noted, “We just can’t wait to get punched in the face before we start playing in a game like this.”

Why?  What causes people and organizations to put forth the necessary effort and energy later rather than sooner?

Click here to read the rest.