Friday, June 6, 2008

"If You Have It, You Don't Need It"

Experience. The Rapids have in in beating the Galaxy this season. The Galaxy don't.

The Rapids are out in LA-LA Land this week, facing Old Spice and the rest of the Galaxy. The game is at 8:30 PM MDT on Altitude. As always the supporters groups will be gathering at the British Bulldog in downtown Denver for the viewing party.

Here's the injury report:

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

My lineup prediction:

Ihemelu - Erpen - Harvey
Gomes - LaBrocca
Peterson - C.Gomez - Clark
McManus - Casey

US Soccer has not released the roster for the match against Argentina on Sunday, so its unknown at this time if Mastroeni will be in LA. Bob Bradley did call Pablo into the game day roster and he'll miss the game, the lineup prediction has been updated accordingly. If he's not I think Gomes will go in his place alongside LaBrocca. Kimura has had some bad games recently, and has not fully recovered from the foot injury, so I think he sits. Clavijo stated this week that the reason Cooke is on the bench is because he's too one-dimensional in his game, always going for the cross, but that he is improving. He also said that he's the second best crosser in the league after Beckham. Given that I think Peterson will start.

Critical Matchup: Jordan Harvey vs. David Beckham

I'm guessing Harvey will start on the left, but whoever it is, the key to this game is shutting down Old Spice. LA has shown that they are two different teams, a very good one with Becks and Donovan, and a very bad one without them. Donovan is either injured or will be in New York for the Argentina game, so he will not be playing. If we can take Spice Boy out of the game we leave LA with very little options in the attack.

Keys To Look For:

  • Consistency. We have yet to put back-to-back wins together this season. We missed the opportunity to do it with 3 straight home games, but going to LA looks to be one of the better chances to do it on the road.

  • Another week, another time for me to harp on our first half efforts. The last time we had a lead at half was against the Galaxy in the season opener. We need to start putting the ball into the net early.

  • Casey and McManus are quickly becoming the go to guys on the strike force. Are they developing a good style playing together?

  • Patience. We're still playing the long difficult pass instead of the short possession pass. It doesn't matter how quickly you score unless you're behind late.

  • Its time for Peterson and Clark to step up and prove they deserve to be starting. Peterson has been completely unimpressive except for his goal in the DC game, and with Cooke waiting on the bench his time is up. Clark has been inconsistent.

  • With a win the Rapids retain control of first place in the West, get some separation for the team behind them. With a loss they're right back in the middle of the mixed up West again. At some point if the Rapids want to make a run for the title they need to step up and get that separation, and they're running out of chances.

Prediction: 1-1 draw. Beckham will burn us once on a free kick ,and our offensive struggles in the first half will continue. We'll tie it up in the second but not be able to get the winning goal.

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