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Rapids slip by stumbling D.C.

May 15, 2010 | 6:36 pm No comments
By Shaun Schafer

Colorado Rapids delivered on a historic chance Saturday night by beating D.C. United 1-0 at RFK Stadium.

Mehdi Ballouchy launched a sizzling left-footed shot into the near post in the 67th minute. Ballouchy saw goalkeeper Will Hamid cheating to the middle and froze him with the shot. It was a scintillating moment, and it was all Colorado needed to erase 11 years of losses in the nation’s capital.

With the win, Colorado improved to 4-3-1 (13 points) for the season. More importantly, the team has won three road games in five tries. In 2009, the Rapids won only twice in 15 trips away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

The road win was also a good example of taking care of business against a weak team. This is not the D.C. United of old, as the once proud franchise stumbled to 1-7-0 (3 points) and last in the league.

First Half: Both sides looked anxious in the first 15 minutes as they tried to find some rhythm. As the half wore on, the teams started to settle into a pattern. The Rapids would try to build up through the middle, while D.C. looked content to counterattack with long balls out of the back.

In the 28th minute, Conor Casey just missed wide on a header at the six from Ballouchy. Casey later had a solid shot into the side netting, and Wells Thompson missed wide right from about 30 yards out. Th0se were the best scoring opportunities of the half for Colorado.

For D.C., Adam Cristman and Danny Allsopp were each seeing the ball, but delivering little on shots. D.C. rarely looked like it wanted to take the game to Colorado.

Seeing Yellow: Christian Castillo made a stupid two-foot tackle on  Thompson at midfield in the 15th minute and picked up a yellow card.  Pablo Mastroeni picked one up in the 58th minute for encroaching on a free kick. On the kick, Castillo sent the ball into low-Earth orbit. Ballouchy made it a complete day with a yellow card in the 90th minute after fouling Cristman. Ross LaBauex picked up a yellow late for trundling over Jaime Moreno.

Changing Dates: The Rapids game against the Philadelphia Union at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park has been rescheduled.  

The game, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, July 21, will now be played on Wednesday, Sept. 29,  at 7 p.m.

This is the second game the Rapids have had rescheduled this season. Previously, Colorado’s May 22 match against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park was moved to Wednesday, June 9, at 7 p.m.

Rapids 11: The team dropped any illusions of playing a 4-4-2, coming out in a 4-5-1, with Casey at the top. Matt Pickens, Marvell Wynne, Julien Baudet, Drew Moor, Danny Earls, Ballouchy, Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz,  Thompson (Colin Clarke, 68th), Cummings (Quincy Amarikwa, 89th), and Casey (LaBauex, 92nd).

Wynne Again: Wynne played at right back, the position where he started for Toronto. However, he looked out of place for most of the first half. Suddenly, Preki’s decision to unload Wynne this season made sense. Truly, Wynne may be a natural in the center of the defense.

His partner in the middle, Moor, also looked uncomfortable most of the half. He was making some questionable/careless passes out of the back. The second half went better for both.

D.C. 11: Hamid, Rodney Wallace, Juan Manuel Pena (Moreno, 72nd), Carey Talley, Jordan Graye, Castillo, Clyde Sims, Justin Morsink (Andy Najar, 80th), Thabiso Khumalo (Brandon Barklage, 46th), Allsopp, Cristman.

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