Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's Get This Party Started!

Time to kick off the 2009 season! This year I'm going to try to cut down on the length of my game previews/reviews, and you might even see me do some different things like focusing on just one player or element of the game. For now though I'll just give an overview similar to last year.

The Rapids travel to LA-LA land to take on Chivas USA in the Toolbox. Kickoff is at 8:30pm MDT. The supporters groups will be gathering at their normal spot, the British Bulldog in downtown Denver.

Injury Report:
PROBABLE: DF Ty Harden (groin)

A very favorable injury report for the Rapids, meanwhile Chivas has 8 players listed on their report which will cause them to juggle their lineup quite a bit. For the Rapids I predict:

Kimura - Ihemelu - Gibbs - Harvey
LaBrocca - Ballouchy - Clark
Cummings - Casey

Bench: Burpo, Guerrero, Harden, Cooke, Peterson, Dalby, Richardson

Gary Smith has talked about using LaBrocca on the right to provide cover for Ballouchy. I'd rather see Cooke starting myself. Harvey has gotten most of the starts in preseason so I'm assuming he'll start over Guerrero. The 18 players I listed are the ones the Rapids announced will be on the trip.

Key To Look For:

Consistency. With the exception of Pickens the starters were all on the team last year, and with the exception of Ballouchy they were all starting at the end of the season. There shouldn't be much confusion or settling in with this group. If there is, that means that there was poor preparation in the preseason.

Prediction: 2-1 win, goals by Conor Casey and Colin Clark. I think the healthy and stable Rapids have an advantage, even on the road, over a Chivas side still coming together and missing numerous starters due to injury. I wouldn't be shocked to only get out of LA with a draw (The Rapids have never won a season opener on the road) but I think there are 3 points available for the taking. A loss really should be unacceptable in this situation.

No comments: