(Apologies for this post getting up several days late. It was supposed to run in mid-week but a technical glitch caused it not to be posted.)
What happens when a team that can’t win two in a row faces a team that can’t win?
You get a tie.
That’s what happened when the San Jose Earthquakes faced the Colorado Rapids last weekend. San Jose took a rare lead but couldn’t hold on while the Rapids, coming off a 4-0 thrashing of the Red Bulls on July 4th, looked flat yet again. There may not be two more tortured fanbases in MLS this season (Red Bulls fans get the all-time nod.)
SBI correspondents Kevin Mathiessen and Craig de Aragon watched the match and gave us their very unique takes on the match.
By CRAIG de ARAGON
Ok, think of the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Ok, now think about trying to do that two times in a row.
For me, it was back when I was in college. I had a roommate who I think was part grasshopper. He could do that thing where you’re on your back and you spring back up to your feet without using your hands. You know, like Jackie Chan. Well, I decided after a game of touch football that I would try to do that. It worked! I actually did it.
So naturally, I tried to do it again. This time, nope, not even close. I dislocated and broke my kneecap. As I was lying on the intramural fields waiting for the paramedics to arrive, slipping in and out of shock, I thought to myself…”man that was a bad idea” and then proceeded curse out the paramedics in Spanish as they tugged on my leg to bring my kneecap back into place. Ok, so that doesn’t really fit, but, the moral of the story is; that’s got to be how the Rapids feel about winning two games consecutively. Like after a win, the whole word is against them and anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
The Rapids traveled to San Jose looking to win consecutive games for the first time all year, not to mention with a victory, they would move back into first place in the Western Conference. Well, neither of those things happened. The Rapids had to come from behind using a nice Connor Casey header to salvage a point against a last place San Jose team that has scored a total of eleven goals all year. In two games this year against the last place team in MLS, the Rapids have “earned” one point, scoring a total of one goal in those two meetings. What will it take for the Rapids to win more than one in a row? If you look at their schedule, this would be the best chance to accomplish that feat.
The light at the end of the tunnel is that the boys in burgundy and sky blue play in the Western Conference and are only 3 points out of first place. With a victory against a reeling FC Dallas today the Rapids have a week off for the All-Star game, and a week to prepare to claim that elusive post-victory victory.
Yallop’s outburst can’t wake up Earthquakes
By KEVIN MATTHIESSEN
The San Jose Earthquakes played on their true home turf at Buck Shaw Stadium for only the fourth time last Saturday. Unfortunately they were only able to come up with a 1-1 draw. The only way to describe the Earthquakes performance would be "lackluster" though at least they actually scored a goal.
Ryan Johnson had a nice header to put the ‘Quakes in the lead. He would’ve earned my "Man of the Match" vote, however he negated that fine play with some poor defending only seven minutes later. He allowed Terry Cooke eons of time and acres of space to send in a nice cross for Conor Casey to level the score with a nice header.
Replays showed that Casey pushed off Jason Hernandez to give himself room for the header. After freeing himself from the defender, he was able to redirect the ball perfectly into the back of the net.
Frank Yallop thought that there should’ve been a call but none was made. After berating the referees, tossing around water bottles, and heaving his jacket onto the pitch, he was promptly thrown out. Good for him. As I’ve said before, I want to see the players get mad, clench their foreheads, yell into the open air, get into the game, and score some goals.
You’d think that Yallop’s passion would have transferred to the players. Maybe they could go deep within to find a score for their fearless leader. Save for the usual team leaders Joe Cannon, Nick Garcia, and Ronnie O’Brien, the passion was lost on the rest and no one could score again.
Earthquakes Seismometer Readings
Kei Kamara proved once again why he should be benched/cut/traded. I hate to say it but I almost no longer want him to score. I keep thinking that one more gutless performance and the coaching staff will finally realize he just plain sucks. I say stick a different warm body in there or just play with ten.
From the Earthquakes reserves match report I noticed a few items of interest. Jay Ayres is playing again after recovering from his brutal facial injuries. Jovan Kirovski played the full 90. Former California Victory fan favorite, Yuri Morales, played the second half. There were two other guys I’ve never heard of that played the reserve game as well-Hugo Miguel Sousa and Luciano Fusco. Apparently none of these guys were any good however since they were up a man and still went down 3-1.
As you all know, living legend Darren Huckerby and Brazilian Francisco Lima are on their way to San Jose. Rumor has it there are one or two more quality players that could also join in soon. Stay tuned and we’ll find out.
Along with Huckerby, the Earthquakes will receive an onrush of support from the Norwich faithful. Most are heartbroken that he’s gone and will surely follow him in the states. Those Norwich fans have been flooding these and other boards with glowing praise for the former Canary. As long as he stays healthy he should instantly become the ‘Quakes best player.
I haven’t seen Lima play, but from what I hear, he’s pure class. I’m still a bit skeptical however since he’s (gasp) 37 years old! It seems to go against what the staff had been saying about building a team for the long run but if he’s anything like Tugay, Preki, or Sherringham, then I suppose he’s got three or four years left in him.
Rapids just can’t win two in a row