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Rapid Reaction

Following Colorado's 1-0 loss at home to depleted Toronto today, Rapids Coach Fernando Clavijo had this to offer:

"We didn't come to play. I'm extremely disappointed and embarrassed today with our performance. I'm not going to point fingers at anybody, but the players need to perform. I'm in charge and of course I am responsible, and I will take the blame for it. I expected people to step up and they didn't do it. Two minutes in and we have a clear chance again to change the game and we didn't do it. I've said all along, that we really need to find someone who can find the back of the net. Today [the players] didn't work hard. I'm very upset about it because they didn't put the effort that they have so far. I'm going to try to analyze why and it may be that responsibility is too much for some players. It was a must-win situation for us and every game is. I think the team is good enough, but today the effort wasn't there. We need players to perform and the players never showed up."

And this from forward Herculez Gomez:

"This one hurts. Three in a row at home hurts. The last three games we have had the better of the play. That's soccer and let's be honest: Something is not working, something is not right, something has to change. We are all professionals and we know what comes with the territory. I think we need to come out with a different attitude. Deciding to play the last 15-20 minutes of the game, every game, isn't really working out."

A coaching change in 3...2...1...

By Steve Goff  |  August 9, 2008; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: USA, Netherlands Tie


So what happend to C. Gomez magic that he is soo good? hah go figure. It's bad for United though as Toronto climbing up even more than one can imagine.

Posted by: glory bust | August 9, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I'll be surprised if Clavijo is ever fired. I bet he still has to remind Stan Kroenke of his name when they see each other. "I'm Fernando...I coach your soccer team. The Rapids. We have the new stadium, remember?"

Clavijo does nail their problem, though. They have no useful strikers (save McManus, who is good enough to be a contributor throughout MLS). Unfortunately, he (Clavijo) never seems to figure out the solution. Their current formation features 4 attack-first midfielders, 2 forwards, and leaves the defending to, basically, Pablo Mastroeni on his own. Erpen, Ihemelu, and Burciaga are all erratic defenders, and Coundoul often reminds me of Frankie Hejduk with the national team...a second away from disaster, for 90 minutes.

I'm generally not in favor of going defensive, but if you have no good forwards available, maybe you should take some cues from Chicago: keep it tight in the back, try to clog the midfield (which also gives you more options in possession), and hope your #10 can break the game with some brilliance. There's no guarantee Colorado's lower-quality roster could do any better playing that way, but they couldn't be much worse.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | August 9, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Don't hang it in on C Gomez.

Also that red card was plain ole stupid. They had no chance finishing with 10.

Posted by: OWNTF | August 9, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

didn't they sub Gomez off before the red card though? All the Gallardo haters are always bring up Gomez. But he sure didn't do much of anything useful today.

I love watching NE games. I find it hilarious that Greg Lalas is the voice of reason when homer Brad Feldman gets his panties in a twist over every little thing. It's almost as entertaining as Max Bretos and Allen Hopkins the Galaxy years.

Posted by: Glenn | August 9, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Clavijo's only gonna go if the Rapids are smart, and, judging by the game today, they're not all that bright. So, let the Rapids keep him (translation: let them suck if they wanna!). And Gomez, United don't need no stinking Gomez!

Posted by: person | August 9, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Chad Barrett showed skills that he never demonstrated at Chicago...

Posted by: Modibo | August 9, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps an ownership change would be even better? But to be fair, Clavijo is awful.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | August 9, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Brad Feldman = Worst Homer Announcer in Any Sport

Posted by: Sylvester | August 9, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I was at this game today (perhaps the worst I'd ever seen in person) sitting next to a non-soccer person. She told me that someone from KSE had spoken to her MBA program, and even from the brief presentation she could tell that the Rapids were a like a non-entity in the Kroenke organization. So it seems, as many fans from CO have been saying for years, that there is no external pressure from the top to ever right this ship. And after years of mediocrity, there isn't much pressure from the fanbase either. The knowledgeable soccer fan, save for a few very die hard MLS fans, have largely given up on the Rapids. A very large share of the crowd at a Rapids game are families and/or youth teams who may be totally ignorant of the how the team is doing throughout the season, who the players are, etc. So while the performance of the team may be terrible, what I think it would take to really solve the problem long term is a wholesale housecleaning of the organization.

When people complain about DCU it's because they don't think the club is living up to its ambitions. The problem in Colorado is the club doesn't really have ambitions. Consequently I wouldn't be surprised if nothing much happens until the end of the season (and even then it may be ineffectual)

Posted by: 5280 | August 9, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

If memory serves me correctly, this is the last year of Clavijo's contract. I'd be willing to bet a shiny silver dollar that 1) he's not fired, 2) his contract is not renewed, and 3) he's eventually replaced by Houston assistant John Spencer.

Posted by: Nic | August 9, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

So if My KBPS are higher than the recomended dosage to watch the live stream of the game on I should have no problem watching the DCU/NYRB if I order it and pay for it right?
I think I do dare using my mother in laws company laptop so I can catch the game way out here in Avon, NC... UNLESS Dirty Dicks or somewhere else would be showing the game on DK or something. Anyone, have any expierence trying to watch United games while away on Vacay in the OBX?
Any yeahs, or na's on the MLS live dealy?
Thanks folks.
I know I should just stay on the beach, but when there is a will there is a way.

Posted by: dadryan | August 10, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

man, only in mls does a coach like clavijo keep having a job after it underperforms time and time again.

Posted by: frank from sf | August 10, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse


I watched the dc v kc 4th of july 2007 via (or whatever its called) from the living room of Le Spot (house on the sound side, down by the DQ in Avon, NC).

Just be sure you have dsl or better...........

Not a problem.


Posted by: myt! | August 10, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Any coach who watches B. Coundoul and concludes: "yes, he is very good; he must be my keeper; in fact, he is so good that there is no one better and he must occupy one of my foreign player slots..." should have his intelligence and competency seriously questioned.

Posted by: MJ | August 10, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure the soccer gods granted Clavijo unlimited job security. He can't be fired, he's Fernando.

Posted by: Ted | August 10, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse


i watch most of my games these days through (i've been a subscriber for 3 years) i've had a couple problems here and there but most of the time it works just fine. the games are maybe a couple minutes behind the tv feed but nothing major. as long as you have a good broadband connection you should be golden. hope this helps and you get to watch the game.

Posted by: wendel | August 10, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Goal Netherlands 17' by Babel of the rebound of a Guzan save.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 10, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

28' Adu shreds the Netherlands' defense but lifts the ball far over the bar.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 10, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, I-270

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Nigeria over Japan 2-1 in the first game.

Posted by: The Jeff | August 10, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

is it just me, or is marcelo balboa a terrible color guy?

Posted by: steve-o | August 10, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Gol | August 10, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning Anonymous.
Kljestan ties it at 1!

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 10, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, there's not much that Balboa could add for the knowledgeable fan. But's he's been OK so far.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 10, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Altidore! 2-1
Orozco on the assist.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 10, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm stuck in an airport! What's happening with the us-nl game??? Please keep the updates coming, 270!

Posted by: troy | August 10, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

troy -

The Netherlands tied the game in the 93' minute off a free kick. Holden with a foul 22 yards out - free kick was taken low and the wall jumped.

Pretty disheartening finish.

Posted by: osgoodfan | August 10, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse


Yo Novak, next time, start Freddy AND Jozy!!

Posted by: Juan-John | August 10, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Crushing conclusion for the US as Holland ties it at 2 with a low driving free kick in the final minute of stoppage time. Final 2-2. Still a great effort from the USA.

Posted by: speculation | August 10, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey myt! and wendel thanks for the info fellas.
Looks like some rain today, so I just might be able to sneak in another match.

Just watched Holden give up something he shouldn't have:(
Well at least Emo got some legitimate Olympic Glory!
Vamos United!!!

Posted by: dadryan | August 10, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Game over, U.S. 2, Netherlands 0. Dutch score it in the 92nd minute on a free kick after a Stuart Holden foul outside the box. Adu can't play the third group match against Nigeria due to yellow cards.

Great match by the U.S., despite the late goal. Too bad Holden couldn't put it away on the breakaway opportunity he had, on the counter while the Dutch were pressing the attack.

Not sure what Rogers, Holden and McBride bring to the team -- not as clear as the other eight starting players. Altidore is a super sub!

Posted by: Bill in Md. | August 10, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

damn!! no bradley, no adu, vs nigeria. I wonder if a draw gets us thru? japan will lose to holland. this sucks, i thought we had it.

Posted by: steve-o | August 10, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks osgood, even though my leaping spirits crashed. I'm on my way to marseille and was looking for a dutch guy to tease. Riviera's full of 'em this time of year. Ah well, had you asked me before the game if I'd take a draw against nl, I'd have leapt at it.

Posted by: troy | August 10, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, U.S. 2, Netherlands 2.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | August 10, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Steve-O --

I didn't know about Bradley being suspended for Nigeria. That sucks.

Good question: does a tie get us through? If we tie Nigeria and the Dutch beat the Japanese, the three teams have five points. I think we gotta win this upcoming match!

Posted by: Bill in Md. | August 10, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

For a team as retarded as the Rapids, they do have enough talent to win. Clavijo has to go. Hell, he should have been gone two seasons ago.

Posted by: Barry Jive | August 10, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Bradley and Adu to miss the Nigeria game.

OUCH. Those are 2 pretty big losses right there.

Posted by: Douglas | August 10, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Why did Nowak substitute for Adu in the 78th minute if Adu was already going to miss the next game with two yellow cards? He clearly wasn't pleased to be pulled off the pitch.

Posted by: mark | August 10, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

We attended the Earthquakes-Rapids game here in SJ a while ago, and it was almost embarrassing how bad this team was (and this is after watching many SJ games). The team didn't use Gomez at all. If he did get a touch on the ball, when he passed it on, no one would give the ball back. At one point, one of the rookies was yelling at Gomez! It seemed strange that you would have a recent league MVP on your team and not utilize him at all. Gomez was subbed out in the match and looked pissed. I think Clavijo needs to go if the Rapids are ever going to have a chance to be decent again.

Posted by: Cindy | August 10, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't follow either of these teams enough to comment on a coaching change. But I happened to watch this entire match and the Rapids just dominated Toronto. Good goal keeping from TFC was really the difference.

Posted by: jva | August 10, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Christian Gomez has been one of the few bright spots for the Rapids.

I can't decide which is worse -- watching an MLS game on a gridiron field, or watching a game in an empty Dicks Sporting Goods Park.

Posted by: Ron | August 10, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

DC United Coaching Change 3, 2, 1

Posted by: Hitman Stan | August 10, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Fernando is a dead man walking with the Rapids, but the Rapids organization will ride out his contract rather fire him and be forced to compensate another for a season that is already heading south. I think yesterday's performance is indicative of a team that has given up on their coach.

The Rapids are a poor organization, KSE invested in a soccer complex not for the soccer team that would occupy the stadium, but for the revenue stream and the opportunity to promote other events at the stadium like concerts.

It's a tough time to be a Rapids fan.

Posted by: Malaga CF fan | August 11, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Do you think it's a coincidence that every team Clavijo has ever coached has been mediocre? A coincidence that only months after he got fired from New England, another manager took the same group of players to extra time of MLS Cup final? He's been at Colorado for more than enough time to get the players he wants and impose the system he wants. The simple fact is that while he was a very good player, he's not an MLS calibre manager.

Posted by: Brian | August 11, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

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