In Cod We Trust: How Far Have We Come?
I had a basket of Cod and chips for lunch, yesterday, at GB's Fish & Chips. That is unremarkable.
What is remarkable is that GB's is a soccer place. As evidenced by the team jerseys pinned to the walls and ceiling. As well as the three screens that all had soccer on. We had our choice between the Eredivisie and the Bundesliga.
Ten years ago, Rapids' fans were lucky to get a corner television in a sports bar to turn the game on, with the sound off
Ten years on we have multiple locations to see a game. Two locations, GB's and the British Bulldog, are dedicated to the sport. Both publish a list of up-coming games for fans to plan ahead.
I am just happy that we still have a team in Colorado to support. I am tickled that I have a choice of cozy joints that have embraced the team, and provide good atmosphere for away games.
The Cod was quite good as well.
Our Rapids are headed to New England tomorrow and will face the New England Revolution. The Revs have put in three wildly differing performances. Beating the MLS champion Houston Dynamo in the opener, stinking up Chicago for their encore, and then just Wednesday night thumping Kansas City.
Fans may want to read too much into the Rapids loss to Kansas City followed by the Revs win. Kansas City has started the season very strong. The Rapids gave them a battle though, claiming the majority of chances, and fighting back from going down 2-0.
The errors that lead to the loss are easily correctable. Stephen Keel in particular will have learned not to let his man go on set pieces. He will also seldom be matched against a player as good as Jimmy Conrad was on that night.
Fernando Clavijo must like his chances against the Revolution. Teams, like the Revs, that have played a game on Wednesday followed by one on Saturday have struggled from the congestion. The Revs appear to have adjusted to life without Ralston or Twellman, but the loss of those players will leave a few holes. It is up to Clavijo's boys to find them.
One player that should find the holes is Christian Gomez. Christian did not have a great game in Kansas City. The size of the field, and the congestion it caused left little room for his magic touch. He should not have the same issue in New England. With DiRaimondo and LaBrocca occupying the Revs midfield Gomez will have plenty of opportunities to slice apart the New England three man back line.
Will Clavijo continue to play DiRaimondo and LaBrocca? It is anyone's guess. Both did quite well against Kansas City. The final goal of the game left me with questions about Mastroeni's fitness as he seemed to give up on the play that lead to the goal.
Depth may be a good problem to have, but it does produce unfortunate results. This week it was not a good problem for Dan Gargan. Dan became the victim of the Rapids desire to sign Tam McManus. No one can argue that the Rapids are not deep on the back line, nor that they do not need a goal scorer.
Rapids fans will wish Dan well as he gave his all for the team. I expect we will see him turn up again at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, but next time as an opponent.
Rapids fans will hope that Tam can justify the waiving of Dan. Back in the days of the corner television without sound, the signing of any player with foreign league experience was cause for irrational exuberance. These days Tam will have earn his cheers. He will have to fight for time in the lineup against solid players who have only the Rapids as a line on their resume. That is, as it should be. The game has come a long ways.
Enjoy it. And, try the fish and chips, they're good.
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