You should all be keeping up with the Rangers. But since I know you don’t always have time, so I’ll do it for you today.
That said, they did win, but they are really disappointing to watch this year. With most of the team either in the game or on the bench for Sporting Kansas City versus the Portland Timbers, it was a bit tough to watch. Some quick observations.
Amer Didic switched CB sides. He is usually a RCB, but he moved to the left. That pushed Graham Smith to the right. Not sure if there is anything in that. Overall he looked better than his Lamar Hunt US Open Cup appearance Wednesday. I’m really starting to wonder if it’s the talent around him (or lack thereof) that is hurting his game.
The other SKC loanee was Eric Dick. He had a REALLY shaky first half. He tried to play out of the back at all costs and his distribution with his feet is very poor. It’s something he’s going to have to improve to ever earn a first team chance. SPR were very lucky not to give up any goals off the bad passing. That said, Dick looked amazing with his positioning and saves in the second half. He bailed the team out several times. This should have easily been a loss. Maybe it was the Colorado Springs Switchbacks finishing skills.
18-year-old SKC Academy product Roman Knox made his first start. He was mostly invisible, but he hustled and had himself in the right spots (he may have been invisible because the announcers only seemed to know about four players names). There is definitely promise there. I’d like to see him and other Academy products get more of a run out.
Chase Minter hasn’t shown me a damn thing all year. He started on the wing again (which appears to be out of position for him). He was one-on-one with the keeper in the first half and he has to score there. Really just no excuse.
Maher looks like a permanent backup, even at the USL level. He is good depth to have when Jaylin Lindsey and Colton Storm are away, but he never makes a driving run to the byline and I couldn’t keep track of the number of times he sent a longball down the sideline straight out of bounds. One time it was on a free kick.
I thought Matheus Silva looked better. He was so bad at the beginning of the season though, so it doesn’t take much. He was involved in some of that sloppy out of the back play but I’m not sure that it was his fault.
Dakota Barnathan, who looked to have real promise in 2017, got his first start (and maybe minutes) of 2018. He was out of position at RB and he looked a bit lost. With the CB depth he just can’t get on the field at his preferred spot. I wouldn’t mind seeing him at holding midfielder some.
Matt Lewis, the SKC Homegrown, replaced Barnathan but I must have dosed off because I don’t remember him touching the ball.
We had a rare Will Little sighting. He was basically invisible, but he didn’t get a ton of minutes.
Sean Karani got mop up minutes and I don’t believe he’s a CF because he struggled with winning those long balls (he’s only 5’8”). The SPR roster lists him as a midfielder but he came on as a winger in a previous matchup and played okay in very limited minutes.
Tyler Blackwood started at CF but did basically nothing. He got moved to the wing where he continued to not contribute. You can see why he’s bounced around the league.
Barry is probably the only veteran on the team with the potential to get a first team contract and that’s slim potential. He shows flashes. He did score again but his first touch is terrible. He does make up for it sometimes in effort, which is how he got this goal and the goal against Phoenix Rising. And he’s very fast. Opportunistic is the word for those last two goals.
Rodrigo Saravia must be hurt because he was missing again. Felipe Hernandez returned from injury and was serviceable but not great.
Overall, the team isn’t nearly as fun without their SKC loanees. Good to see Kharlton Belmar, Jaylin Lindsey, Gianluca Busio and Kuzain getting SKC minutes, but it’ll be nice when the team is healthy and some of these guys can rescue SPR. Until then, play the kids. Lots of 16, 17 and 18-year-olds just rotting on the bench. Let’s see what they’ve got. Couldn’t be worse than some of these “starters.”
Here are the highlights.