Play-by-Play Plus: Being in the right place at the right time fueled Union win over Rapids
While this game won't go down in Union history for its artistry, it does go in the books as a road win, and their first points of the season. The game stats won't show that the better team won, but you don't need to see the game stats to know that this game was all about making big plays and the Union made them.
When describing a hockey game, a former Stanley Cup winning coach once told me that the game would have its ebb and flow but at the end, what would separate the teams in the game was a series of big plays and who would make them.
The same can be said about soccer. You will have your games where not much separates the home side from the visiting club. At the end, it will be about who cashes in on the big plays.
On Sunday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, here were some of the big plays:
Early in the game, Jack McInerney clears a sure Colorado goal, off the goal line. Amobi Okugo would make a good block in the box to deny the Rapids a good goal scoring opportunity.
Okugo would come through on a header off of a corner kick to give the Union the lead. Just last week he had missed the target on a similar chance.
Goalkeeper Zac MacMath would come off his line to make himself so big, that Deshorn Brown could only watch as his shot would go wide of the net. MacMath doesn’t get the save on that play, but it may have been his best moment in goal of the two games he's played so far in 2013.
Then later, Antoine Hoppenot, fighting off a challenge lays a perfect ball off to Jack McInerney, who converted for the game winning goal.
These were some of the more memorable plays to me that made the Union winners in Colorado. You may remember some others.
To me, this was a game that the Union would have lost a year ago. Instead they overcame some travel issues, a 24-hour postponement, and the high altitude of Colorado, to win this game.
On the plus side in the match against the Rapids, the Union did not concede a goal on a set piece while scoring one on their own. For the second straight game, the Union scored the game’s first goal.
They will need to do more of that this season.
The Union can take some confidence into their next game, Saturday against the New England Revolution. The Revs are coming off a 1-0 road win over Chicago on Saturday.
With the game at home, and with the depth on this squad and the competition for minutes, I would look for a change or two in the next lineup. One thing for sure, the Union will be playing a more offensive minded game at home in front of their great supporters.