Momentary lapses cost Rapids
Coach Anthony Hudson made the tactical shift to a 3-4-2-1 following the midweek U.S. Open Cup loss in Nashville. He deployed Micheal Azira in the defensive midfield which was meant to help push Houston’s potent attack to the flanks. Azira is a master at jumping the passing lanes and breaking up potential threats in the middle of the pitch.
Saturday night in Houston, the combination of the tactical switch along with the heat and humidity meant the Rapids played compact defensively. The visitors hoped to frustrate the Dynamo and take advantage of the counter attack. They were successful initially and Houston was held quiet for the first 30 minutes. All was fine until the Rapids gifted two turnovers in their own third. Those two giveaways in the middle of the field led to two goals and the home side was off and running.
Too often this season the Rapids have seen momentary mental lapses cost them points. The two turnovers in the defensive third paired with Yannick Boli’s red card came within a span of just a few minutes. Things spiraled out of control quickly.
Infamous Yankees catcher Yogi Berra once said “Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.” For the Rapids to string a positive run together it will come because they first and foremost clean up the mental side of the game.
Back at home on Wednesday
It’s been said several times over the past few weeks, but I’ll say it again in this space. The only thing a team on a poor run of form can ask for is a chance to turn the tide.The Rapids will get another opportunity to break this spell in just a few days, and it will be in front of the home fans. The Chicago Fire pay a visit to DICK’S Sporting Good Park on Wednesday night. It’s another chance to flip the script and try to build momentum.
Dominique Badji will be back from yellow card suspension and well rested. I’m not sure about the injury to Edgar Castillo, but I would assume if he’s fit he’ll bring a boost to the lineup. One final addition we may see against Chicago (or the following week against Minnesota)? I suspect there’s a chance Kortne Ford might make his 2018 MLS debut. The big central defender has been training well and looks ready to jump in to the action.