Friday, May 2, 2008

Rapids Attempt to Divide D.C.

The Rapids are back to the friendly confines of The Dick, facing D.C. United on Sunday at 1pm MDT on Altitude and Telefutura.

Here's the injury report:

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

My lineup prediction:

Bouna Time!
Kimura - Keel - Erpen - Burciaga Jr.
Mastroeni - LaBrocca
Cooke - C. Gomez - Clark

I don't think we'll see many changes quite yet. Next week, when Casey and Petke become available I could see a formation shift, but for now I think we'll continue in the 4-5-1 while people get healthy.

Critical Matchup: Christian Gomez vs. Gallardo

This isn't a head to head matchup, but its a matchup of the two "DP level" players. DC traded for our DP slot and gave us Gomez, and its time for him to produce. A PK and 2 assists in 5 games isn't what anyone was looking for when Gomez was acquired. There's no better time for him to step up and show his value than playing against his old team and outplaying their DP.

Keys To Look For:

  • Can we get out of our funk? So far this season we've played worse each game, cratering out with the San Jose game, and bouncing back a bit in Chicago. Still we haven't played a "good" game since KC, and we haven't dominated since LA.

  • How does DC play at altitude? They haven't won in the Rockies since 2005, and they haven't won in Colorado since 2000, a span of 8 games.

  • I said it in the critical matchup section, but Christian Gomez has to start taking control of this team

  • Along those lines the early book on Gomez in Colorado seems to be hit him hard early and take him out of his game. If that continues, can he work past it?

  • Is our defense more organized? San Jose and Chicago made the defense look like a USL side, save Bouna Time! Can they get their act together?

  • Can we get Cooke and Clark equally involved? Particularly in the second half of the last couple of games the field has been tilted to one side or the other, leaving the counterpart all alone on the other side, usually open, but never getting the ball.

  • McManus has looked good in his playing time so far, but so did Cummings early. Can Tam continue or will he fade?

Prediction: 1-1 I don't see this disorganized defense keeping DC off the board, but at the same time DC has historically played pretty poorly in the Rockies. Gomez will want to make a point against his old team and will generate at least 1 goal. This game is a real toss-up and I wouldn't be real surprised with any result, but I think a draw is most likely.


Anonymous said...

I'm totally with you regarding expectations for Christian Gomez. I haven't seen anything out of him that makes me think he's brought DP-caliber ability or execution to the Rapids. If there were ever a match for him to step up and announce his presence, this would be it. Also, I'm consistently apprehensive watching Erpen in the back, he's an accident waiting to happen. DC obviously knows his weaknesses, and I think will look to exploit both Erpen and Burciaga. Let's go Rapids, hopefully the team will come to play.

Allen said...

Instead of

Bouna Time!
Kimura - Keel - Erpen - Burciaga Jr.
Mastroeni - LaBrocca
Cooke - C. Gomez - Clark

Looks like we had

Kimura - Ugo - Erpen - Harvey
Peterson - C. Gomez - LaBrocca
OMar - McManus