Friday, May 23, 2008

That Belongs In A Museum!

No, not the Cross of Coronado, Chivas's coach Preki. ;)

The Rapids continue their homestand at The Dick facing Chivas USA tomorrow. The game is at 7:30 MDT.

Class VI is holding a head-shaving charity event for St. Baldricks Foundation at halftime. More information about the event can be found here.

Here's the injury report:

OUT: DF Mike Petke (R foot); GK Justin Hughes (L groin); QUESTIONABLE: MF John DiRaimondo (L ankle); DF Kosuke Kimura (R foot); DF Jose Burciaga Jr. (R foot); PROBABLE: MF Nico Colaluca (L groin)

My lineup prediction:

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

Yes, Bouna is here for one more game, contrary to earlier reports. He leaves Sunday for Senegal. With so many injuries to the back line I think Clavijo will stick with 3 in the back and bring in Harvey for the injured Kimura. We may see Keel instead of Harvey. 5 in the midfield allows us to get LaBrocca and Clark on the field. Gomez didn't perform well enough against FSL to knock McManus out of a starting role yet, but Tam's time to claim the role is getting short.

Critical Matchup: Pablo Mastroeni vs. Sasha Klejistan

Its hard to pick out the Critical Matchup this week as I don't know which players will be allowed to play for their teams before the USA-England friendly on Wednesday. It sounds like most players are being released back to their teams though, so I'm going to assume both Pablo and Sasha play. With Chivas' injury situation the offense, what they have, is really running through Klejistan. If Pablo shuts him down it will be difficult for Chivas to get on the board against Bouna, who will want to have a good final game before heading off for Senegal National Team camp.

Keys To Look For:

  • Other than the San Jose game, we've done well at home this year with 3 wins. We need to continue that dominance at home and make The Dick a hard place for other teams to play

  • Do we show up in the first half? We've scored 1 goal in the first 45 this season, and in many games we just seem to be going through the motions. That needs to end.

  • Last week was the first time Chivas came back to win after being behind in their history. That's not something the Rapids have been very good at in recent years either. Getting the first goal is critical.

  • Clavijo talked after the FSL game about how Cummings' role needs to be as a striker in the box waiting for service, not trying to generate the chance himself. Can Cummings be disciplined enough to wait up top, and can the rest of the team get him the ball in a dangerous situation?

  • Can our thinned out back line keep Chivas' offense in check?

  • Can Clark continue to improve? He had 2-3 great moments each game, but he's still running himself out of the play at times

Prediction: 1-0 win. I think we'll keep Chivas' offense in check, but I wouldn't be surprised to see us struggle on offense ourselves. Still, with the home advantage and the healthier lineup I think we pull it out.

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