Friday, February 15, 2008

News From Training Camp

The Rapids are in south Florida for preseason training this week. The newest journal shows the lineups from today's squad scrimmage. It looks like first team vs. second team, with some players held out for injury reasons. Looking at the first team squad gives us a good indication of what Clavijo is thinking at the moment;

Kimura - Keel - Erpen - Burciaga Jr.
Cooke - Ballouchy - C. Gomez - Clark
Kirovski - Cummings

The players that didn't participate in the scrimmage due to injury were Petke, Pablo, H. Gomez, and Ihemelu, among others. Bouna Time! was also absent as he isn't expected to return from his national team duties (and hopefully some time off to see his family while he's in Africa) until this weekend.

I think its safe to assume that Pablo, Petke, and Bouna will be part of the starting 11, most likely taking the places of Ballouchy, Keel, and Hughes in this lineup. That gives us the look of a traditional 4-4-2 diamond formation, with the expectation that our outside backs will have to be focused on defending as Clark and cooke are almost purely attack-minded players.

It appears that the forwards and the outside backs are the most unsettled of the positions. Kimura showed well for his age at the end of last season and could challenge Ihemelu for the right back slot, while both Burciaga and Hilgenbrink are fighting for the open left back position. Up front nobody stood out last season, though H.Gomez looked the best before his season was cut short with an ACL injury. With Casey out for at least the first couple of months of the season H.Gomez, Kirovski, Cummings, Peterson, and Hernandez all have a shot at the opening day lineup. I think the most likely duo is H.Gomez and Kirovski. The first because he was the most dangerous player we had at forward last season, and the second because regardless of his play Clavijo seems to believe he brings something to the team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog! I cant wait to read more.

Go Rapids!!