Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Rapids win tightens up the West
by Ridge Mahoney, September 5th, 2008 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] Colorado and FC Dallas, two of the three Western Conference teams to shake up their organizations with coaching changes this season, are just noses apart in the race to reach the playoffs after Thursday night's 1-0 Rapids victory at Pizza Hut Park.

Mike Petke, so unmarked he would have had time to re-dye his hair, headed in a Terry Cooke corner kick near the hour mark to separate a pair of teams whose new head coaches have yet to stabilize their squads. The Rapids' rather miserable 8-12-3 mark (27 points) is good for a share of third place along with Chivas USA; FCD (6-8-8) is fifth, just one point behind. Five points separate second-place Real Salt Lake from Los Angeles and San Jose, which are tied for last with 25 points.

Despite winning, Colorado turned the ball over dozens of times in vulnerable spots, and despite sending waves of attackers forward, FC Dallas seldom tested Colorado keeper Preston Burpo, whose own misadventures offer further opportunities. Yet Burpo and his teammates held out for the shutout that ended a nine-game winless streak and provided interim head coach Gary Smith with his first MLS victory.

Smith left Christian Gomez on the bench at the start of the game for the fourth straight time and the 2006 MLS MVP never moved from that position except at halftime. FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman's running battle with Andre Rocha prompted his exclusion from the 18-man game roster, a decision the coach may have regretted after sending out substitutes Eric Avila, Dax McCarty and Dominic Oduro in a futile effort to get a goal.

Hyndman included seldom-used Michael Dello-Russo, Anthony Wallace and rookie Bruno Guarda in his starting lineup and through perseverance and luck, FCD outshot Colorado, 15-9. But squandered chances betrayed their efforts.

Burpo stormed out of his goal in the 35th minute and lost a race to the ball, but Jeff Cunningham couldn't find the empty net with his shot. A low, sizzling shot by Kenny Cooper four minutes into the second half forced a good save from Burpo, but from the ensuing corner - one of 10 on the night for FCD - nothing materialized.

Colorado nearly broke through two minutes before Cooper's shot when FCD couldn't clear the ball during a scramble and Conor Casey turned to strike a shot on net. Aaron Pitchkolan, stationed on the goalpost, got his leg on it.

Besides Cunningham's miss, the best FCD chances came on two balls delivered by McCarty to defender Drew Moor but in neither case could he put the ball on the frame. He misfired from a corner kick, and on a flighted serve after a short corner, Moor -- as alone as Petke had been -- somehow headed it well wide from just yards away. Another good serve from McCarty dropped for Oduro to balloon over the bar.

The Rapids couldn't match FCD's offensive thrusts but their set plays brought results. A first-half corner kick from Cooke yielded a Tom McManus header that Dallas goalie Dario Sala turned over the bar, but all the keeper could do was stand and stare when Cooke's corner in the 60th minute found Petke, who carefully guided it back across the goal and into the far top corner.

Both teams face Eastern Conference opposition next week; Dallas travels to D.C. United, the Rapids host Chicago. No matter how much the placings may have changed by then, the conference race won't be any looser.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Sebastian Saucedo strikes twice as U.S. U-20s advance     
The USA moved into the second stage of the men's Concacaf U-20 Championship with a 4-1 ...
Roster: U.S. U-23 women head to Spain    
The U.S. U-23 women's national team will play Japan (March 2), England (March 4) and Norway ...
USWNT: No Klingenberg, no A-Rod for SheBelieves Cup    
U.S. women's national team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23-player roster for the 2017 ...
Report: UCL headed to Turner and Univision in 2018    
Turner Sports and Univision have snatched the U.S. media rights to the UEFA Champions League away ...
U.S. Soccer: U-17 and U-20 women's coaches to be replaced    
B.J. Snow is no longer U.S. U-17 girls national team coach and Michelle French is out ...
U.S. Abroad: Johnson's M'Gladbach pulls miracle comeback    
Fabian Johnson came off the bench for Borussia Moenchengladbach as it came back from 2-0 down ...
Sneak Peek: Potent Impact seeks resiliency and depth    
Last year Montreal stunned Red Bulls, 3-1, on aggregate and took a commanding lead against Toronto ...
What They're Saying: Perry Dealy    
"It's worth preserving because we don't have a lot of icons. It would save a lot ...
Sneak Peek: Vieira is convinced NYCFC will be improved    
In his first season, Patrick Vieira proved that a foreign coach unfamiliar with MLS could find ...
Sneak Peek: Timbers look as good as ever    
From MLS champion in 2015 to out of the playoffs in 2016, it was quite a ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives