Thursday, June 19, 2008

If a game is played and nobody sees it, does it really happen?

The Rapids are back in the friendly confines of The Dick on Saturday at 7:30 facing the Dynamo. The game is on HDNet, which almost nobody gets. Thanks to that fact and a family wedding I will not be able to see this game, the only 1 of the 30 league games I'll miss this season. So don't expect a significant game review article next week. ;)

Here's the injury report:

OUT: DF Mike Petke (R foot); GK Justin Hughes (L groin); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jose Burciaga Jr. (L groin); MF Nico Colaluca (L groin); MF Pablo Mastroeni (back)


My lineup recommendation:

Ihemelu - Erpen - Harvey
Pablo/DiRaimondo - LaBrocca
Cooke - C.Gomez - Clark
McManus - Casey

You'll noticed I've changed this section from a lineup prediction to a lineup recommendation. After last week's unexplainable benching of Gomez for a half I've realized there's no predicting a Clavijo lineup. So instead I'll just discuss who I think we should be starting.

In the back Kimura has shown that he may need a bit more seasoning. I think its time to give Harvey a chance to partner with Ihemelu and Erpen. Pablo may or may not be able to go, if he can't we can go back to the defensive pairing of LaBrocca and Ihemelu. Cooke is clearly the best player we have to play on the right as Peterson has been worthless so far this season. If you have Cooke sending crosses in you need to have a bog guy like Casey up front to receive them.

Critical Matchup: Ching vs. the Rapids defense

Brian Ching has been allowed to return to the Dynamo, being seen as unnecessary to defend our 8-0 lead in Barbados this weekend. Dwayne DeRosario and Pat Onstad's ability to return from the Canadian team to play is still unknown. Assuming no DeRo Ching is the most dangerous player Houston has. The back line will need to take him out of the game and force somebody else to beat us.

Keys To Look For:

  • Do we use our midfield, or to we continue to skip them by playing long ball?

  • Another week to harp on our lack of first half performance etc. etc. etc.

  • Christian Gomez. Does he start, and if he does can he make an impact on the game?

  • Is there any desire in this team. So far most of the players don;t seem to care until we're 2 or 3 goals down, and which point its too late.

  • The real key to this game, and the near future, is getting a stable starting 11 and game plan. Do we stick with something for a while, or does Clavijo start making changes as soon as his newest strategy doesn't amount to 3 goals in the first 15 minutes?

Prediction: 2-0 loss. Given our recent play vs. the way Houston has woken up I can't see us winning this one, even being at home. I think we may be in the midst of a bad run of games that won't really turn around until near the All-Star break.

1 comment:

Allen said...

long ball! woo-hoo!