Friday, May 9, 2008

Its a Trap!

I had planned to do a Star Wars spoof to open this write up, but thanks to Comcast disconnecting me for 24 hours for no reason I've got to get this up quickly.

The Rapids are in Houston facing the Dynamo tomorrow. The game is at 6:30 MDT on Fox Soccer Channel. As always the supporters groups are watching the game in downtown Denver at the British Bulldog.

Here's the injury report:

OUT: DF Mike Petke (R foot); GK Justin Hughes (L groin); MF John DiRaimondo (L
ankle); DOUBTFUL: FW Conor Casey (L knee); QUESTIONABLE: MF Nico Colaluca (L groin)

My lineup prediction:

Bouna Time!
Kimura - Ihemelu - Erpen - Harvey
Cooke Mastroeni - C.Gomez - LaBrocca
McManus - Cummings

According to today's Denver Post article, the Rapids will stick with the two forward formation, and either go with a 35-2 or a 4-4-2. I think Clavijo will start with what worked last week, with the slight change of Peterson for Cooke, for more veteran leadership on the road.

Critical Matchup: Pablo Mastroeni vs. Dwayne DeRosario

Right now Houston has no offense and are hoping to get healthy against a team they normally beat up on, the Rapids. DeRo is the key to the Dynamo attack, and keeping him quiet will go a long way towards keeping the Dynamo offense off the board. Remember, the Rapids have not gotten a point out of a game where they've allowed the opposition to score.

Keys To Look For:

  • We;re going on the road to face a team looking to snap out of its funk. Can we keep the pressure on, or like the San Jose game do we get overconfident?

  • How does the new backline play? Ihemelu seemed to settle things down last week, does that continue?

  • Will somebody step up and claim the role of go-to guy in the box?

  • The first goal seems to be even more critical in this game than normal. If Houston gets it they have a lead, at home, over a team they usualy dominate. If we get it Houston might continue in the funk its currently in.

  • Who starts on the wings?. I'm guessing Cookie and LaBrocca, but Clark and Peterson have made their cases as well.

  • Was Christian Gomez's play last week an aberration because he was facing his old team, or does the 2 forward formation really help him?

Prediction: 2-0 loss. We seem to play poorly against the Dynamo, and its about time for them to finally get the win. I think this has trap game written all over it, and I think, much like Admiral Ackbar and the Rebellion, we fall for it.

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