Friday, October 3, 2008

Rapids Hoping to Crush Houston

The Rapids host the Dynamo in their next-to-last home game of the season tomorrow night at the Dick. Kickoff is at 7pm, tailgating starts at 5.

Here's the injury report:

OUT: GK Justin Hughes (R shoulder); DOUBTFUL: FW Tom McManus (L knee)

DISCIPLINE: Suspended after 1 more yellow card - Pablo Mastroeni, Colin Clark, Nick LaBrocca

My lineup prediction:

Kimura - Gibbs - Petke - Harvey
Cooke - Pablo - Ballouchy - Clark
Casey - Cummings

Smith has been pretty consistent about his lineups and its been working, so I see no reason to expect saignificant changes. The Denver Post mentions that Cooke will return to the starting lineup in place of LaBrocca, so I'm guessing Ballouchy gets rewarded for his play last week with a start at attacking mid. I'd still prefer to see Bouna Time! over Burpo though. ;)

Critical Matchup: Casey and Cummings vs. Houston's d-line

Houston has one of the better goalkeepers and stronger defenses in the league. They are second in goals against. While the Rapids have been showing some offensive firepower lately this will be a real test for the forwards.

Keys To Look For:

  • Houston likes to play through balls to get Ching back behind the defense. How quick is Burpo in coming off his line to stop those type of opportunities?

  • Maybe its just me, but I'd almost like to see a couple of Pablo, LaBrocca, and Clark pick up a yellow. They're all sitting one yellow from suspension, and out of the 3 games after this one the easiest is probably next week in LA. I'd hate to see them all gone for the Chivas or FSL game.

  • Casey and Cummings teamed up very well last week, the best partnership of the season. Can they continue to feed off of each other?.

  • Can Gibbs bounce back from a poor showing last week?

  • [benstein]Gomez? Anyone, anyone?[/benstein]

Prediction: 1-1 draw. Between Ching and DeRo I think Houston has one goal in them, and their defense is good enough to keep us from racking up goals. This one feels like a solid draw.

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