Friday, September 19, 2008

"The die is now cast; the colonies must either submit or triumph.... we must not retreat."

King George III, In a letter to Lord North, 1774

Tomorrow the Rapids, led by an Englishman, attempt to do what George and North could not, quell the Revolution. Its a critical game for the Rapids playoff hopes, a loss here puts them in a hole with a tough upcoming schedule. Kickoff is at 7pm at The Dick and the supporters groups will be tailgating in Lot AA beforehand. This week we'll be joined by the second-best fans in MLS as a few of the Midnight Riders have travelled out from the East Coast.

Here's the injury report:

OUT: GK Justin Hughes (R shoulder); PROBABLE: DF Greg Dalby (R ankle)

DISCIPLINE: Suspended after 1 more yellow card - Pablo Mastroeni
Suspended after 2 more yellow cards - Colin Clark

My lineup prediction:

Kimura - Gibbs - Petke - Harvey
Cooke - Pablo - LaBrocca - Clark
McManus - Cummings

Smith has said he wants to use the same lineup as he did last week against the Fire. With almost no injuries I see no changes. I still think Bouna is the better start than Burpo, but apparently it will take Burpo having a complete meltdown before Bouna starts.

Critical Matchup: Harvey and Clark vs. Ralston

Its actually a bit difficult to figure out who will be matched up against Steve Ralston, as Revs coach Steve Nicol has moved him around a bit in recent weeks. I assumed he would start at his normal right wing spot and it will be Harvey, supported by Clark, that will have to shut him down. Ralston is the engine in the Revs midfield, involved in 14 goals this season. If the Rapids can keep him off the scoreboard their chances of winning go way up.

Keys To Look For:

  • Does Burpo improve on crosses? He came up with some great saves last week, but his decision-making on when to come out is still weak.

  • Can Cooke get back on the same page as the rest of the team? He did get an assist last week, but other than that he was not in sync.

  • Do Cummings and McManus keep Casey off the field? I really think Casey isn't the option for this team.

  • Is Gomez still an option if we need him?

Prediction: 1-0 win. I feel like I'm going out on a limb a bit on this one, but the Rapids have looked more cohesive in the last couple of games than they have for a while. Add to that the long travel for the Revs, playing at altitude, and the number of games the Revs have faced recently and I think the Rapids have the edge.

1 comment:

Allen said...

It's a long season the Revolution could really use another striker right now. I'm expecting a bit of a performance like last week against Chicago. The question is will the Rapids put the ball away with the handful chances of chances they produce. I'm hoping for a brace by Casey.