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Red Bulls run rampant on Rapids

March 25, 2012 | 3:03 pm No comments
By Shaun Schafer

No Larentowicz, no Mastroeni, no hope.

Worse fears became bitter reality for the Colorado Rapids on Sunday as the team tried to play without its midfield stalwarts and fell apart in front of the New York Red Bulls 4-1.

Jeff Larentowicz, the key cog at defensive midfield, had to miss the game after picking up two yellow cards against the Philadelphia Union one week ago. Captain Pablo Mastroeni missed the game after being ruled out earlier in the week for concussion-like symptoms.

In their places were Ross LaBauex and Wells Thompson. LaBauex was instantly involved in the game in the worst way as his errant pass in the second pass went to Thierry Henry’s feet. The New York forward wasted no time in opening his account for the season.

Another LaBauex giveaway at midfield less than four minutes later landed at Henry’s feet, wound up on the boot of Kenny Cooper and finished its journey in the back of the net. Down 2-0 in six minutes, and the Rapids were left to play catch-up.

Henry added to the lead in the 54th minute as he stayed just onside and beat both central defenders and the ‘keeper to make it 3-0. Then, the Frenchman assisted on Cooper’s second goal in the 89th minute as New York completed the rout.

Out of place: Omar Cummings struggled to be the lone striker on Sunday. He has not had much luck in anything that looks like a 4-5-1. And Colorado’s 4-3-3 looked like a 4-5-1 after the two early New York goals.

Playing with his back to the goal, Cummings is playing away from his strengths of speed and touch. It had to be frustrating for Cummings as he continued to scratch for opportunities out of position. Conor Casey, still recovering from injury, was missed.

Cummings moved to the wing late in the first half, but returned up top shortly after the half. His positioning finally paid off in the 77th minute when he collected a giveaway and scored his first of the year.

What a difference: When these teams last met, the Rapids shredded New York 4-0 as Sanna Nyassi made short work of Tim Ream in the center of defense and came away with a hat trick. Nyassi is now playing for the Montreal Impact, and Ream is earning his paychecks in the English Premier League.

Rapids 11: Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata, Thompson (Tyrone Marshall, 65), LaBauex (Quincy Amarikwa, 65), Jaime Castrillon, Brian Mullan (Andre Akpan, 85), Tony Cascio and Cummings.

New York 11: Ryan Meara, Roy Miller, Markus Holgersson, Wilman Conde, Jan Gunnar Soli, Joel Lindpere (Mehdi Ballouchy, 85), Dax McCarty, Rafael Marquez, Dane Richards (Jhonny Arteaga, 90), Cooper and Henry.

Next Up: Happily, the Rapids return home next week. Colorado faces the Chicago Fire at 5 p.m. April 1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.

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