Thursday, July 3, 2008

July 3rd, 1776 - The Battle of New York begins

On this date 232 years ago British troops landed on Staten Island in what would be the first step towards New York being lost by the Americans. Tomorrow Colorado will try to repeat the British victory over New York when they take on the Red Bulls at The Dick at 7:30pm.

Here's the injury report:

OUT: Justin Hughes (L groin); DOUBTFUL: MF Christian Gomez (R leg), PROBABLE: MF Jacob Peterson (L knee); DF Mike Petke (R foot), MF Nico Colaluca (L groin), DF Jose Burciaga Jr. (L groin), MF Pablo Mastroeni (back)

My lineup prediction:

Bouna Time!
Ihemelu - Pablo - Erpen - Harvey
Cooke - DiRaimondo - LaBrocca - Clark
McManus - Casey

Gomez appears to be downgraded this week, so I assume we'll see the same 11 that faced Columbus last week. Its probably our best 11 without Gomez, and while I'm not thrilled with Pablo on the back line, LaBrocca and DiRaimondo seem to be working well together (about the only part of the team that is) so I don't think breaking that duo up is a good move.

Critical Matchup: Casey & McManus vs. RBNY defense

New York has the second best defense in the league, but one of the worst offenses. Colorado is middle of the road in both categories. This game could turn into a defensive battle so our strikers are going to have to find an opening if we're going to win. With no Gomez available they'll probably have to do it on their own.

Keys To Look For:

  • We have a strong back line, but they haven't played together much. How is their organization and communication?

  • First half performance yadda yadda yadda

  • No Gomez means that Clark and Cooke will be responsible for getting the ball into the box, can they improve their service from last week?

  • Will some striker please step up and do something?

  • Rapids crowd advantage. Let's be honest, usually we don't have a great home field advantage due to the crowd, we get it from the altitude. 4th of July is the one game each year where we can expect a packed house though, and in the past its helped us. Will that continue?

Prediction: 1-0 win. They have no offense, we have our ability to pull something out of nothing on the 4th of July. We win, barely.

(BTW, on July 4th 10 years ago I lost my "independence" and married the woman I love. Its been the best 10 years of my life. Thanks for everything Hope!)

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