Colorado Rapids: New Players, New Regime, Same Old Woes
Maybe it's a Mile High problem. Maybe it's an issue with the thin air. Maybe they have the same naivety as impulsive tourists that come to Colorado and decide they want to go on a hike but don't quite understand the true ramifications of what altitude sickness actually is before they find themselves hallucinating whilst sitting on a large boulder along the path to the summit. They don't realize how difficult it truly is to hike up a mountain but these are all excuses, as are many lost chances the Rapids have on goal.
Colorado had the ball in the San Jose defensive third for nearly a full five minutes, chock-full of crosses and corners but they couldn't find the header or one touch in the middle. The Rapids, as stated by Clarence Goodson, didn't have that many good, quality chances as they crossed the ball time and time again. The wing play was there, the offense was there, but the connection wasn't.
During that five minute stint, the box was only occupied by Buddle. Everyone else was absent. There were chances upon chances, but when you don't overcrowd the box, and rely on one man trying to reach his century mark, you can't expect to score a goal when surrounded by big men like Goodson and Bernardez.
The woes of Colorado's finishing continue years later. It was a problem when Conor Casey and Omar Cummings weren't able to combine for goals in 2011, and it's a problem when Brown and Buddle aren't able to connect for a goal when the Rapids control the Earthquake territory for nearly five minutes.
Colorado has the ability to surround the box, this much we know. A semicircle of offensive defense kept the ball in play for the Rapids and gave them more than enough chances to score but no one drove into the box. Vicente Sanchez found it necessary to try to overcome players like Clarence Goodson but to no avail.
If Colorado expects to be a true contender, they have to find their feet in their opponent's box and they need to find their feet when it comes to finishing. San Jose stumped Colorado's offensive run with physicality and size. If they are to overcome teams like San Jose, they must learn to crowd the box rather than surround it.