Union match reports

Match Report: Colorado Rapids 1-1 Philadelphia Union

Brian Carroll rescued a point for Philadelphia Union with a goal in the second minute of stoppage time to secure a 1-1 road draw on Saturday night against Colorado Rapids.

Sam Cronin looked to have given the Rapids a deserved three points with a header in the 87th minute, finishing a Marlon Hairston cross. But Carroll’s first goal of the season made sure the Union returned home with a share of the spoils.

First half

Jim Curtin made two changes to the team that drew in Orlando on Wednesday night. Ray Gaddis replaced Fabinho at left back and Ken Tribbett came in for Josh Yaro at right center back. Ilsinho was deemed healthy enough to make the bench, but Vincent Nogueira was again not in the 18.

Chances were at a premium in a first half that saw both sides making sure they did not make a mistake rather than take many chances.

The best chance of the half fell to the Rapids’ Luis Solignac in the 33rd minute, who had a deflected pass fall to his feet on the left side, 10 yards from goal. Ray Gaddis did not push up quickly enough and held Solgnac onside, allowing the striker a chance from a good angle. Fortunately for the Union, he fired high over Andre Blake’s goal.

The Union’s best chance of the half came in the 37th minute. Tranquillo Barnetta fired a fizzing free kick from 25 yards that was cleared off the line by the Colorado, who had dropped an entire level of defenders onto the goal line.

Second half

The Rapids looked the stronger side at the start of the second half. Both teams made changes in the 61st minute, with Ilsinho replacing Sebastien Le Toux and Marlon Hairston coming in for Dillon Serna for Colorado. Hairston proved to be a handful, his direct play causing problems for the Union.

In the 69th minute, Hairston did well to avoid a Ken Tribbett tackle on the right side. He then fed a pass to Dillon Powers, who had the entire goal to shoot at from 14 yards, but the midfielder fired his shot square off the crossbar and the chance was cleared. Soon after, Fabian Herbers was subbed for Chris Pontius.

The crossbar would again come to the Union’s aid in the 81st minute. A flurry of Rapids pressure saw Ray Gaddis block a hard shot from close range before Solignac fired off the crossbar with a shot from the right side. Solignac would get another chance after the ball was recycled and crossed back in, tapping past Blake at the far post, but he was correctly ruled offside.

In the 85th minute, Roland Alberg replaced Tranquillo Barnetta. Two minutes later, the Rapids finally took the lead when the ever-dangerous Hairston found time and space to cross from the right side and picked out the run of Sam Cronin, who lost Alberg before beating Ken Tribbett to the cross with a headed finish into the left corner of Blake’s goal.

But the Union would again come up with some late magic to rescue a point on the road. With time running out, Gaddis lofted a ball into the Rapids’ box that Herbers did well to flick on from near the penalty spot. Captain Brian Carroll made a great late run into the box, latched onto the flick, and finished with a controlled volley from close range past Zac MacMath.

Philadelphia is next in action when Columbus visits Chester on Wednesday at 7 pm (TCN, MLS Live, Direct Kick).

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Ray Gaddis, Richie Marquez, Ken Tribbett, Keegan Rosenberry, Brian Carroll, Warren Creavalle, Chris Pontius (Fabian Herbers, 71), Tranquillo Barnetta (Roland Alberg, 85), Sebastien Le Toux (Ilsinho, 61), CJ Sapong
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Fabinho, Josh Yaro, Leo Fernandes

Colorado Rapids
Zac MacMath, Marc Burch, Axel Sjoberg, Bobby Burling (Jared Watts, 65), Mekeil Williams, Micheal Azira, Sam Cronin, Luis Solignac, Dillon Powers, Dillon Serna (Marlon Hairston, 61), Kevin Doyle
Unused subs: Chris Froschauer, Dennis Castillo, Eric Miller, Caleb Calvert, Conor Doyle

Scoring Summary
COL: Sam Cronin (Marlon Hairston, Mekeil Williams) — 87
PHI: Brian Carroll (Fabian Herbers, Raymon Gaddis) — 90 +2

Disciplinary Summary

Philadelphia Union Colorado Rapids
 5 Shots  13
 1 Shots on Target 2
 2 Shots off Target 8
 2 Blocked Shots 3
 2 Corner Kicks 4
 9 Crosses 21
0 Offsides  5
6 Fouls 8
 0 Yellow Cards 0
 0 Red Cards 0
 335 Total Passes  527
 68% Passing Accuracy  80%
 38.7% Possession  61.3%
 57 Duels Won 43
 57% Duels Won %  43%
16 Tackles Won  11
 1 Saves 0
 4 Clearances  5


  1. el Pachyderm says:

    Funny how in the span of less than 12 months (my gol, for the record was 18 months till an official turnaround) this team has gone from the zodiac detritus of, “Born Under a Bad Sign” to Stevie Wonder’s, “Another Star”
    I’m not going to jump up and down too much beyond, if you’ve come this far without a loss, you may as well win the next one… then take a break to regroup, then make a push to relative ‘greatness’…just go on and win the damn Cup…as this team has shown thus far, it can play against anybody in this league on any night…with a resolve stronger than a lovesick boy getting his heart broken yet soldiering on.
    Well done Boys… “In my heart your melody will stay with me”

  2. No F’n quit in this team. Brian Carroll just gained legend status. Win on Wednesday and keep this streak going. I’ll analyze more tomorrow, but how freakin great is this?!?! 🙂

  3. Best part about this comeback is that even with Colorado’s onslaught i knew our team would be hard to beat. love pulling for these guys!

  4. Colorado’s goal was a Ken Tribbett own goal. I’ve watched the replay several times (albeit from a poor camera angle) and there’s no way it was off of Cronin’s head. If it wasn’t an own goal then it came off of Cronin’s arm/rotator cuff. Really difficult to tell.
    What a great finish by Carroll in stoppage time. Need a W on Wednesday.

  5. Also: pretty sure Curtin told Pablo to “STFU”
    It’s @ 93:26 if you’re interested.

  6. Soccerson says:

    Very happy with the point rescued, but have to say the team looked really bad tonight and they got very lucky. Lots of tired legs in the second half receiving the onslaught from Colorado and JC sitting on the last sub until the 85th minute. Not liking the lack of game reading and lack of reaction from the technical staff. Same subs regardless of the tactics and conditions of the match. And Gaddis was just awful in the 2nd half. Good to get a point, but hope these come from behind situations do not mask what the team is lacking in terms of tactical acumen.

    • el Pachyderm says:


    • Sure the subs were predictable, but with the bench they had, there weren’t many other options.

      • Bingo.
        Only other real option was Leo. At least all three subs were attack-minded. Still bringing on Alberg too late to effect anything IMO. Still, Curtin is holding true to his promise of playing instead of bunkering and hoping. On the road, on short rest, against a top team, game nil-nil in the 70-80min a lot of coaches would be tempted to bring on another defender and close up shop.

    • Fat Uncle Phil from Urkel says:

      Being a bit harsh on a guy that won several 1v1 contests (I counted at least three times guys tried to juke past him to only see the ball fly away after Gaddis deflected it) and notched an assist on the game’s only goal during the second half he allegedly played so badly, no?

  7. philpill says:

    To no one’s surprise our overworked offense tired quickly a mile high yet Curtin made only one early sub. The Rapida were missing their two stars. BC had our only shot on goal. Great heart! How fitting for # 7! Can Curtin wring yet another result from his oreferred XI before the break -without Blake? We’ll find out because obviously he rwfuses to vary from it.

    • Will be interesting to see if it is McCarthy or Jones in for Blake. I think Jones is the better option right now (McCarthy is young and still developing), but I would bet that Curtin goes with McCarthy since Jones was away for the birth of his first child.

  8. el Pachyderm says:

    —- Know what I find very interesting…seems Roland Alberg gets quite excited each time the team scores, seems he is on the field when the Union do score, seems he is the first person to congratulate the scorer, yet he plays less than five minutes a game. Is this all just coincidence.

    • philpill says:

      Isn’t Big Ern directly reaponsible for Roland? I am grateful for Stewart’s low profile with his team unexpectedly atop the conference. With a long season in a physical league, this team will need more than The Mighty Mo to ride us out.

    • I noticed that too. The kid is keeping his head up; he’ll get his minutes.

    • The Little Fish says:

      @el Pachyderm Not sure what you mean. Are you saying his being 1st to congratulate the scorer is good? Or bad? Not sure I follow the coincidence part. Can you elaborate please?

    • It is interesting.
      He certainly wants to be here and is supporting his teammates despite his own frustrations with playing time. I really do just think it is a numbers game with him – not defensive enough for Curtin to feel he can play Noggy’s position and Barnetta has been playing well.
      That said, I’d like to see him get a shot on the wing. He doesn’t have the pace to be really dangerous but I think he can drift inside to allow an outside back space to overlap and can help maintain possession higher up the field. Still being brought on too late to really effect the game IMO.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      My compliments to those colleagues who in earlier posts made references to “Ents”, a term I had to look up as Tolkien is decades in the past and I have not seen the movies. The analogy is apt physically.
      With that said, it is worth noting that Fabian Herbers defeated the taller one to execute the flick on. And amidst the forest Herbers either saw and instantly evaluated a highly, highly improbable event, or, vision impaired by sylvan vegetation, was following training ground principle on blind faith.
      Brian Carroll making a run from deep onto the far post???? BC? Really? AND he kept the volley low on frame instead of his usual blast over the bar?!?!
      Smells like the coaching staff has been practicing what to do it desperate end of game situations, might you think?

      • Herbers certainly has talent. He is better physically then I thought he would be.
        That said, when he comes on it means CJ goes to the wing, which I’m not a fan of.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        That may be defensive in nature, CJ going to the flank. Too little data observed yet to be confident in it, though.

      • The Ent comment was mine. Sorry if it was a little too obscure. I figure I can geek out a little on PSP with this crowd. ;o)

      • I guess I’m a geek too because I loved that one. It was fitting for those two.

    • Good article on him in philly.com today…

  9. That look on MacMath’s face after the Carroll goal sure brought back memories.

  10. Zizouisgod says:

    Was somewhat surprised to see a virtually unchanged starting XI. However, when I look at the bench, I don’t see anyone (besides Alberg) that I could make the case for starting especially in the altitude of Colorado. And with Alberg, it’s either that he’s had trouble settling in a new country/league or Curtin just doesn’t see him as anything besides Barnetta’s back up. Ilsinho isn’t fit enough to go 60 in altitude and why would you risk it anyway coming back from injury. That’s probably why Nogs wasn’t even in the 18. Leo isn’t up to the standard needed to start in a match like this. Yaro is injured and you don’t want to overload Fabinho after playing on ORL. I know that people like to second guess Curtin, but he knows his team way better than any of us do

    Full credit to Union’s training and sports science staff for preparing the team to effectively handle this load. So impressed that Carroll is even able to make that run in stoppage time, much less finish that.

    This was a great result especially when you consider that Colorado hadn’t dropped any points at home yet this year. To get a draw here after their 3rd game in eight days is truly an impressive feat. Equally impressive is how resilient the team has become and even when they fall behind late, they never quit. That’s a huge change from the past couple of years when conceding one quickly became two, three or more goals which effectively ended the match.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Totally forgot to mention Herbers’s header to set up Carroll. You get the feeling that Curtin has been bringing him off the bench at the same time each match to get him comfortable in a subs role which is very hard for a young player to get used to.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Well done, “Fan-of-France’s Idol”!
      I recommend to all other readers the last sentence of your first paragraph immediately above!

      • Not to nit pick… as clearly the French love Zidane- but he was actually reviled for a sizable length of time in the beginning of his national team career… thought him more a ‘half breed Algerian’ than a native child of The Blue- took him a long long time to win that crowd over. Two gols against Brazil helped.
        For me, there is only Zidane.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Funny how Bear Bryant referred to his “Puerto Rican” running backs when they were eating up yardage and winning.

    • “Equally impressive is how resilient the team has become and even when they fall behind late, they never quit.”
      Dare I say…”Philly tough”


  12. Old Soccer Coach says:

    The defensive impact of removing Le Toux and Pontius, especially Le Toux, seemed tangible. I remember after a previous injury it took the Brazilian an appearance or two to re-hone himself to “game-razor” sharpness.
    Assuming that our tv crew was accurate, and that I heard them correctly, is not BC one of only now three to score against the Rapids at home?
    Our inability to adjust to Marion Hairston is troubling. He seemed either to lose his defender or to take him one v one.
    I am genuinely asking, not being rhetorical, was it that Colorado increased the pressure in the twenty or so minutes, or were our legs dying? Or some combination of both? Barnetta looked like he was fork-ready just before he came off.
    Columbus will be a tough game.

    • Soccerson says:

      You are right OSC, Herbers and Ilsinho do not provide the same coverage as Le2 and Pontius and that was very evident with the way a subpar Gaddis was exposed after Pontius’ departure. Also most everyone had tired legs yesterday in the 2nd half especially Barnetta and CJ and that combined with the teams’ inaccurate passing displayed yesterday I think explains how Colorado was able to create so many opportunities. Luckily, the woodwork played an important role for them and the Colorado goal that was called back would have been called as a goal by many other refs in MLS.

      Columbus will indeed be a tough match with the short rest they have.

    • philpill says:

      Here’s the thing: Currin trots out all these dead legs without our MVP in goal v. CLB and we take no points at home maybe falling from the top – into a long break. Hope not, but Currin’s obstinance gives me no succor.

  13. No mention in summary, but didn’t CJ win what should have been a penalty kick in the box? The defender blocked CJ’s ankle not the ball… I’m happy the Union pulled out a tie. But they were outplayed and that was pretty ugly soccer. Hairston is really good and the Union have no one like that. The Herbers sub late in game is fine but HE’S NEVER SCORED A GOAL IN MLS. We need an acquisition in transfer window to address our lack of offensive prowess off the bench. And preferably someone who can play a a withdrawn striker bc it’s idiotic to keep putting CJ on the wing late. Blind adherence to a single striker formation is my biggest criticism of and misgiving with Curtin. Also, Pontius has been pretty ineffective in the last 5 or 6 games; not a $400K player in my estimation.

    • There’s so much more to the game than being the guy who actually scores the goal.
      Good things happen when Herbers is on the field because of the work he puts in away from the ball. He will get his chances to be the finisher many times over before he is done. The kid creates opportunities for his teamates.

    • Looked to me like Sapong kicked the defender. I was okay with the non-call. And that’s an odd time to criticize Herbers for not scoring. It was a pretty nice assist.

    • The Little Fish says:

      Herbers can play! Union go home losers had Herby not put the ball on a silver platter for BC. Just sayin’.

    • Yeah, I can say I was expecting a game like that. On the road, 3rd in 8 days, at a mile high no less, without virtually any squad rotation. It was always going to be a slog if we wanted a result.
      But, as for pontius and herbers I have to disagree. Pontius has been great, only sapong has scored more. He makes the late runs required to clean up a lot of loose balls and second chances. And herbers has exceptional off the ball movement for a player his age.
      The question we have to answer in the transfer window is whether we can get more out of him or if we do need some added attacking prowess. We should have some money available

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Money available is not as important as salary cap space! They probably could get money from Mr. sugarman for the right guy, but they have no space under the cap, unless they have a lot more general allocation money and or targeted allocation money available than any of use to estimate.

      • The Lahoud transfer should have just given us 200k in GAM. (Provided we believe Taylor twellman when he said 300k. League gets 1/3 we get the rest as GAM.

    • I’m having trouble understanding your criticism of Herbers. Your main complaint seems to be that he hasn’t scored in MLS. He is a rookie who has had about 175 minutes of game time. No starts. He isnt going to come in as a sub and score a hat-trick. His off the ball movement is fantastic. He got a nice assist and a goal is sure to follow. However, you are right to say that we need more depth at striker.

    • On Pontius, pretty sure DC ate some of his salary and while he hasn’t been as effective in the box as he was earlier in the season, he still puts in a lot of work and is a solid locker room guy.

  14. pragmatist says:

    To the PSP guys, if you’re looking for an article topic over the break, I think this would be a great time (post-Columbus) to revisit the season’s expectations. Before the season, we were content with the playoffs and definite signs of progress. We can reasonably expect playoffs at this point (although obviously not guaranteed), and the the play on the field, while inconsistent, has been improved.
    Have the goalposts moved? Should they?
    I think the past few games have shown this team is what we were reasonably hoping for: improved, but flawed. They have incredible heart, but that’s tough to rely on for an entire season.
    I am absolutely enjoying this ride and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, but I’m trying to keep expectations is check. Our lack of firepower and finishing ability is a glaring hole. But they have gotten scoring from every corner of the roster.
    I’m still looking towards next season for “Contender” status, but this is a fun ride, nonetheless.

    • Have the gol posts moved?
      n+7 unbeaten.
      played every team I can think of straight up… save Dallas but give us them again.
      Do not yet have our ‘marquee’ player playing. Multiple games lost to various injury.
      a young back line with ‘Ceiling Unlimited’ (name the music reference!)
      process and progress— might as well take a run at the damn trophy they hand ‘the best team’ at the end of a tournament designed to reward the ‘team playing best’ in a given small sample size stretch.
      Consider the gol posts moved.
      For my part- just make it pretty.

      • pragmatist says:

        I think a better way to phrase it may be, what constitutes disappointment now? Failing short of the Cup? A first round exit? Missing the playoffs (would have been disappointing before the season started)?.
        Like I said, enjoy the ride, but we may need to calibrate expectations and make sure they are still in the right place.

      • HopkinsMD says:

        “Ceiling unlimited
        Windows open wide
        Look and look again
        Feeling unlimited
        Eyes on the prize
        Changes never end”

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Yes sir.

    • Pretty young team too. Regardless how the rest of the season works out things are looking up.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Good suggestion. It’s in the queue of ideas now. Thanks!

  15. Funny no mention today about CJ Sapong getting battered again…oh wait, it was he who ripped the shirt on that one guy then not 5 minutes later human bowling balled into that other guy…then— ah hell here I go again.

    • Okay, you lost me here.

    • pragmatist says:

      I’m pretty sure the main complaint after the Orlando game was in regards to the kick to the ankles 5 seconds after the play had moved on.
      Any other claims of physical play are simply part of playing the equivalent of the power forward position.

      • I know…I’m just addressing this notion that CJ specifically gets roughed up and roughed up and no calls and then I see him tear one dude’s shirt then bowling ball himself into another dude not two minutes later— all with no call.
        Highlighting that it goes both ways….

      • I think the main complaints are due to the position the “fouls” happen on the field.
        If CJ gets called the opponent gets a free kick in their defensive end while if the defender gets called the Union have a free kick in a dangerous position.

  16. Carroll scores and a thousand households in the Delaware Valley erupt with raucous cheers…
    The screen goes dark…and then brightens again on what was once a gray, desolate, gale-swept cliff. In the past, nothing could have grown here because of the constant shuffling and scuffling of cement-shoed foot traffic.
    Now, the sun is shining and the air moves in carresses, gently bending the lush, green grass. As the camera pans towards the inspiring, panoramic vista we see a small, weatherbeaten sign. It takes a moment of concentration, born of curiosity, but eventually we CAN make out the message it once carried to visitors long past…
    “Free cookies!”

  17. I can’t help but think that a more rested lineup would have put forth a better 2nd half, but I’m nitpicking now. Were the first team to go there all year and get points, in what should have been the toughest game we play in this stretch. If there was a doubt before, there isn’t now. The union have turned the corner, mentally more than anything. I believe that’s the 4th goal after the 85th minute they’ve scored.

    • HopkinsMD says:

      100% agree –> “If there was a doubt before, there isn’t now. The union have turned the corner, mentally more than anything.”

      “I believe that’s the 4th goal after the 85th minute they’ve scored.” <– That really is an amazing shift from one year to the next.

    • I agree. Healthy, rested, and fully stocked on both sides, I’d like to have seen what happens letting these two teams at it. I felt we were robbed of a nice matchup by the condensed schedule.
      Though exciting at the end, it wasn’t a satisfying meal.

  18. The Little Fish says:

    Exciting game! No quit in these boys! Made us proud last night! I really, really like this team. Interesting that the Union (and West leading Colorado) uses a DEFENSE FIRST, choke the opponent strategy where as long as they can hold opponents to a goal or less they get points….or WIN. I’m starting to be very okay with it.

  19. OneManWolfpack says:

    Love how this team is playing it’s 5th game in 18 days (if my ability to add is correct – and it might not be)… pretty much got worked for most of the night… and is still able to STEAL a point from the best team (points-wise) in MLS, in their building. WOW. Just flat out amazing. I am beyond impressed.
    After so many years of suffering, it appears the soccer gods are with us. To have Colorado hit multiple posts/crossbars and miss 2 clear, uncontested shots from like 10 yards away… they have to be, right?
    As a side note, I don’t think Curtin parked the bus last night, and I thought it showed. The Union went for the win… Herbers and Ilsinho are obviously not defensive subs. I was happy with the subs he made. And to Little Fish’s point – Colorado is the 2011 Union team. Literally trying to win every game 1-0.

    I want to see this team after the Copa. After they are done playing 6 games in 22 days, and with Nogs (presumibly healthy), and others rested. Then, add a piece or two in the transfer window.
    This is starting to get real. This is so much fun 🙂

    • The Little Fish says:

      I think when we go with BC AND Warren clearly we are taking an extremely defensive posture. But I guess I’m not surprised because Coach Curtin was a D-Man. The numbers don’t lie. It’s not “Air Coryell” or Doug Moe’s “Run & Shoot” but NOT LOSING is a very nice change of pace.

      • Only other real option was to play Alberg in place of either BC or Creavelle but Curtin has implied that he doesn’t think Alberg is defensive enough to play that position.
        That said, I think if the team inverts the midfield from a 2-1 to a 1-2 in a 4-5-1/4-3-3 that both Barnetta and Alberg on at the same time. They are both smart enough players to work together to help defensively IMO. Just maybe not the time to try it on the road against a top team.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Not with BC as the Claude Makelele equivalent in front of the center backs. A highly disciplined Maurice Edu -assuming human metamorphosis is possible – perhaps an idea worth exploring in an emergency.

  20. The Chopper says:

    How many times have I read on this site that the Union will never be successful with Brian Carroll on the field?

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I am guilty of that. I thought last year needed to be BC’s last season, especially as a starter. I was wrong. I no longer question him playing. Regardless of his goal last night, the quality and consistency of his play has been nothing short of amazing.

      • I was guilty of calling for him to be dropped two years ago. I thought he rebounded well last season to show he still could be a role player on the team.
        Still not my first choice starter but he is quality. So of reminded of how Real Madrid seem to play better with Casemiro sitting in front of the backline and playing simple.

    • Too many. I’ve been guilty of calling him a role player, I never thought the team was going to be this good getting large amounts of minutes from him. Sub appearances in games where we have a lead and spot starts, sure.
      BC has proved virtually all of us wrong. Rage against the dying of the light BC.

    • pragmatist says:

      I was in that boat last year. I was calling for him to move to the coach’s bench. Last year won me over. He plays such a smart version of the game, and stays within himself. He is the pure definition of “wily veteran.”
      Two points, though:
      1) he’s still not the choice over Nogs, or Edu
      2) I still want him on the coach’s bench. But now he can choose his own timeline to join Jim or Brendan.

    • Guilty. a Pardon please.

    • The best player retained with their head on the proverbial chopping block in the off season? Injury and opportunity has allowed us to grant the presidential pardon?

      Would it be fair to say he’s this season’s Fabinho?

  21. I think Alberg let Cronin go on that goal. Am I right?

  22. Old Soccer Coach says:

    As I think about Columbus, I realize I have no idea how they play without Kamara. MLS Live replays here I come!

  23. Roger That says:

    A quibble: Ilsino is obviously great taking on guys 1 v. 1 (or even 1 v. 2); but haven’t yet seen much else to his game. And he’s so confident of his ability to beat guys that a couple times he have up the ball in a bad position. Looking forward to seeing more of, and from him. Same for Alberg, who remains an unknown quantity

  24. Roger That says:

    A quibble: Ilsino is obviously great taking on guys 1 v. 1 (or even 1 v. 2); but haven’t yet seen much else to his game. And he’s so confident of his ability to beat guys that a couple times he have up the ball in a bad position. Looking forward to seeing more of, and from, him. Same for Alberg, who remains an unknown quantity

  25. The Little Fish says:

    Everybody says that that the reason Alberg is not getting minutes is because of how well Tranquillo Barnetta is playing. The coach says that he sees Alberg “playing centrally.” Personally, I think he could find a spot on the field for Alberg but for the fact that Warren Creavalle and Brian Carroll have been lights out! They’ve been absolutely suffocating teams. I don’t see Coach Curtain (a former D-Man) changing a defensive posture that’s been so effective until we (perish the thought) go scoreless for three straight weeks. Until then BC and WC will continue to shield our back line and Alberg will mostly sit. Truth be told, I was totally against this lineup and wanted Alberg in the starting eleven but apparently I was totally wrong because we look pretty solid.

  26. For most of the game, I thought neither team looked very good. Clearly two defensive teams playing conservatively. Colorado did seem to always win the loose balls. Every time a ball was played long or headed it seemed there was always Rapids player getting onto it. Credit the Union for pressuring and not letting it hurt them for so long. When Colorado scored, I felt like the balloon of hope I was holding onto just burst. Late late goal given up by the Union, at Colorado where they just do not allow goals. I thought it was over, pack up and go home. I have to say, shame on me for watching all the previous games and not learning better. This team fights to the end and what a goal by Carroll who many had written off at the beginning of the season. This team is for real. Many will point out they were missing starters, to which I point out, so was the Union, and honestly I don’t really hold JJ in high regard nor Howard at this point in his career. Sorry.

  27. A thought on the way Colorado defended the Union’s free kicks:
    I think the Union have put a little fear in teams with their much, much improved set plays. The offside wall and the clever wrinkle of making a run off of it show that a good amount of training is going on. Colorado choosing to defend more like it is a corner negates any type of training ground plays and forces Barnetta to either shoot directly or clip it into the box which some teams might think is more predictable.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      When you use two a days as your practice regime, you have a lot more time to work on the set pieces, if you are satisfied that the other more fundamental details – fitness levels, tactical concepts, nderstanding the are plan’s application on the field – are well covered.

  28. Do you have any video of that? I’d want to find out more details.

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