Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Second Verse, Same As The First

Much like our last USOC Play-In Game, the Rapids and Sounders get to do it all over again. Tonight the Rapids face the Sounders at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA. This was one of the Sounders home in prior USL-1 years when they weren't playing in Qwest. The loser is out of the USOC, the winner gets put into the MLS pot with the 7 other MLS teams for the USOC proper.

The good news for us fans stuck in Colorado is that there will be an audio broadcast of the game at GoSounders.com. Kickoff is at 8pm MDT.

Like the first time around with the 2 LA games in 3 days, I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time on a game preview. You can read my preview for Saturday's game, things haven't changed much in 72 hours. This is also a hard game to predict, as the Sounders are quite injured but have players like Freddie Ljungberg coming aback from injury. If he plays its a whole different team than if he doesn't. How seriously does either coach take it? How tired are the teams after a game on Saturday and a flight to Seattle?

I bet we see a young lineup from the Rapids. Of our 24 man roster Dalby is suspended due to the red card in the last pay-in game, and Ceus is injured. That leaves 11 players that didn't start Saturday night and I bet we see most of them in tonight's starting lineup. With Seattle's injury problems we're going to see a mix of young players and starters from Saturday's game, which will make them the more tired team. They're going to be at home, and on a turf field they are somewhat used to though.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict a 1 goal Rapids win. They are healthier and probably more rested. We were clearly the better team on Saturday night and without Kasey Keller (who I'm guessing won't play tonight) we would have won that game by 2 or 3 goals. The home advantage and turf will work against us, but I think we have enough to take the USOC spot.

1 comment:

Rob said...

I have to wonder how seriously the 7 other MLS teams will take the US Open Cup this year, but I know Seattle is taking it seriously. 1-0 is a great result - especially at Stafire with former USL players like Levesque, LeToux and Nyassi in the lineup. Too bad another former Sounder had to take one on the chin in the loss.