Colorado Rapids tracks St. Louis CITY SC strategy for a draw

St. Louis CITY SC and Colorado Rapids players drew and earned a point against each other in a terrifically fought match Apr. 22.

Colorado Rapids at home and visitor St. Louis CITY SC fought effectively in their match. The players earned a point in their draw. The home team from the beginning put up powerful resistance to the St. Louis shots and attacks. The first half ended 0-0.

But Colorado achieved what few MLS opponents have done this season when facing CITY. They ignored the fact they were playing an expansion squad. St. Louis has neither practiced nor played as one this season.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 15: Michael Barrios #12 of Colorado Rapids. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

By their preparation, the Rapids ensured that no matter what else happened, they would have an opportunity for a draw.

Of course, this is a team sport. Yet, St. Louis performs most effectively when two players stay on the pitch and have an effective game. Striker Joao Klauss and midfielder Nicholas Gioacchini are those players.

Shortly after the 57th-minute goal by CITY midfielder Rasmus Alm, assisted with a cross from Jared Stroud, Klauss went out of the game with an injury. So there went an important element of St. Louis consistency.

While winning only one match this season so far, Colorado drew four. That’s by applying the same method they used against St. Louis, even before the Klauss exist from the game.

So the Rapids found a way to adapt some of the St. Louis style of play. This method kept them even, or very close, throughout the match.

St. Louis in their initial season forsakes control and possession in favor of taking more shots and attempting more crosses. They have frequently attacked through the middle.

The home team exerted equal pressure to cross, posting 17 to St. Louis’s 14. They also took a lot of shots, 21 to CITY’s 9.

Again, this is a team sport. Colorado would have threatened the visitors with a loss, making 13 of their shots on goal. It was the play of one member of the St. Louis squad that kept Rapids players out of the net until final stoppage time.

Goalkeeper Roman Burki didn’t only play one of the best games of his professional career. His acrobatic performance in this game’s 12 saves looked more unbelievable than his available Greatest Saves collections on video.

It was the shot on goal two minutes into final stoppage time that got Burki. Rapids forward Michael Barrios caught a through ball by Diego Rubio that became an assist in the goal that drew the game.

The Colorado Rapids did a great job squeezing a point out of the St. Louis effort. And the match means that Carnell has already gone to his strategy manual.

If he can find a promising acrobat among his backline players to match Burki, St. Louis CITY SC will be manufacturing another win next match.