The injury bug strikes again
Last week it felt like this team couldn't catch a break and you know what, the same can be said about Saturday's game against the Red Bulls. Just minutes before kick, Dominique Badji was forced out of the lineup due to hamstring tightness. He was ultimately replaced by Yannick Boli, who made his first MLS start. Losing your leading goalscorer on such short notice has a residual impact through the lineup whether the coaches and players choose to admit it or not. The Rapids have preached over the last few weeks about wanting to be a more consistent team, but that's nearly impossible to achieve with so many injuries sidelining key parts to the puzzle.
Sam Nicholson and Dillon Serna were bright spots
For only his second game in burgundy, and first in altitude, Sam Nicholson was most certainly a bright spot on Saturday night. It's clear that Anthony Hudson wants a more attack-minded side and that was the perfect way to describe Nicholson's performance against New York. There were numerous times where Sam took on multiple defenders with the ball at his feet and found a way to break through and either get the ball into the box or earn a corner. I'm personally excited to see what he can do moving forward if he's already performing like this after being in Colorado for just over ten days.
Nicholson was subbed off in the 72nd minute but the team didn't skip a beat as Dillon Serna gave the Rapids attack an added boost as they searched for an equalizer. The wingback role has been new for the Homegrown player, but he continues to thrive there when his number is called. Not only has he been solid defensively, but you can feel an added sense of anticipation whenever he gets a touch. While his volley in stoppage time was saved by Luis Robles, those are the types of risks that you like to see players take in those waning moments of a game. It's just a matter of time before Serna finds the back of the net and it wouldn't surprise me to see it happen before the end of May.
On Video Review…
There's been a lot of chatter on social media and in the comments from fans about the second goal for the Red Bulls. We'll leave it to Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa to give their respective takes on that controversial moment that ultimately proved to be the difference in the match.