Saturday, August 29, 2009

Colorado Looks To Power Down Houston

The Rapids host the Dynamo in their only home Sunday match tomorrow. At halftime former Colorado striker and current Houston assistant coach will be inducted into the Gallery of Honor where he'll join Rapids legends Marcelo Balboa, Paul Bravo, and Chris Henderson. A well-deserved honor for one of the all-time fan favorites. Game time is at 1pm on Sunday, and the supporters groups will have a tailgate breakfast starting at 10am.

Official Injury Report:
OUT: MF Colin Clark (L ACL tear); PROBABLE: DF Julien Baudet (L forearm fracture); DF Scott Palguta (R calf strain)

Official Discipline Report:
TWO CAUTIONS FROM SUSPENSION: Mehdi Ballouchy, Concor Casey, Omar Cummings, Cory Gibbs, Ugo Ihemelu, Scott Palguta

Houston is missing 3 players due to injury so they're slightly worse off than the Rapids. They also played a CONCACAF Champions League game in Panama on Wednesday so they might be a bit tired. My guess on how Gary Smith will lineup the Rapids:

Kimura - Gibbs - Ihemelu - Harvey
Peterson - LaBrocca - Smith
Cummings - Casey

I'm guessing that Palguta and Baudet's injuries will keep them on the bench but if either of them are ready they could replace Gibbs or Ihemelu (which I would like to see happen). Ballouchy seems to be out of favor at the moment so I expect we'll see the same starting midfield as we did last week against Chicago.

Key To Look For:

How do we recover from last week's meltdown? Giving up 3 goals in 20 minutes to lose 3 points on the road could be a real turning point this season. We can either bounce back and play like we know we have 3 points to make up somewhere or we can turn into the same old Rapids and walk along the edge of the playoffs for the next 9 games. If we do the former we could really push Houston while if we do the latter Houston will walk all over us.

Prediction: 2-2 draw, goals by Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. While I think our offense can keep scoring at home I have no faith that our defense can stop the best team in MLS, especially with the likely center back pairing of Ihemelu and Gibbs. Right now I'll be happy to get a point out of this game.

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