Friday, June 13, 2008

We know about that. It's a Toronto skunk. My jurisdiction

The Rapids are in the Great White North, taking on the hosers of Toronto FC. The game is at 5 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); DOUBTFUL: DF Jose Burciaga Jr. (L groin); PROBABLE: DF MF John DiRaimondo (L ankle); Kosuke Kimura (R foot); FW Herculez Gomez (R ankle)

SUSPENDED: DF Facundo Erpen

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: Bouna Condoul - Senegal, Ugo Ihemelu - Canada, Pablo Mastroeni - USA

My lineup prediction:

Kimura - Keel - Harvey
Gomes - LaBrocca
Peterson - C.Gomez - Clark
McManus - Casey

Yeah, we're really hurting in defense with all the missing people. If DiRaimondo is ready to go I can see Gomes moving to the back line, LaBrocca taking Clark's spot, and DiRaimondo being the d-mid. We should be playing Cooke to get crosses to Casey, but he's apparently in Clavijo's doghouse, so I expect the ineffective Peterson to be started.

Critical Matchup: Rapids midfield vs. TFC midfield

These two teams have possibly the best midfields in the league. The team that controls the ball in the middle of the pitch and be patient in picking their spots will have the advantage. The Rapids have shown that when they don't play through the midfield they only get goals when they gt a lucky bounce or when a forward creates and finishes his own chance. Long ball won't work on the bouncy turf of Toronto, we have to be a ble to build the attack.

Keys To Look For:

  • How disorganized is our patchwork defense? Can we keep Dichio and Cunningham in check?

  • Can we figure out how to play on the road? Other than the game in New England we have yet to have a road lead this season.

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

  • Christian Gomez. This is the type of game where we need a big-name player to step up and take control of the team. This is what we gave up a DP slot for and he needs to produce.

  • To win this game its going to take a tremendous effort. If we don't get the first goal I can see the team throwing in the towel.
Prediction: 2-0 loss. Our weakened defense and inability to play on the road, plus the turf and home field advantage for Toronto makes this a game we'll have a hard time winning.

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