Friday, September 11, 2009

Second Verse, Same As The First

Last week the Rapids faced Toronto. This week the Rapids face Toronto. Next week the Rapids will face San Jose, the week after the Rapids will face San Jose. If this seems familiar its because the USOC games earlier in the season had us play LA back-to-back, then Seattle back-to-back. This time the Rapids are in the Great White North to try to keep their roll going. Game time is at 2pm MDT tomorrow and the game is on Universal Sports, not Altitude.

I have to admit to not watching this one live as my Washington Huskies are heavily favored to get their first win in 16 games over Idaho at the same time. So I'm going to watch that one live and watch the Rapids right after. ;)

Official Injury Report:
OUT: MF Colin Clark (L ACL tear); MF Jamie Smith (L knee strain); DOUBTFUL: DF Cory Gibbs (R thigh strain); PROBABLE: DF Scott Palguta (R calf strain)

Official Discipline Report:
SUSPENDED: Pablo Mastroeni (2nd of 3 games)
TWO CAUTIONS FROM SUSPENSION: Mehdi Ballouchy, Omar Cummings, Cory Gibbs, Scott Palguta

There's some other news circulating besides the official reports. There's one report that says Jamie Smith has been put on the season-ending injury list. That Terry Cooke move is looking better all the time! No Fan Alone is reporting that Ballouchy isn't allowed to travel internationally, I'm guessing because he's working on getting his green card. An article on MLSnet today says that Pickens has tweaked his knee and will miss 2-3 weeks. The only good news is that the two red cards Toronto got last week will leave them a bit short handed as well. Here's the best lineup the Rapids can cobble together IMO:
Moor - Baudet - Palguta - Harvey
Kimura - Noonan - Peterson
Cummings - Casey

Bench: Sharpe (or other MLS pool keeper), Harden, Dalby, Diz, Schunk, Holody, Valentino

That's every player on the roster that isn't injured, on-loan, or unable to travel and we barely reach the 18-man game day roster. Let's hope nobody got injured carrying their bags into the airport! I figured Kimura starting in midfield, which he's done once or twice, was more likely than Dalby starting at defensive mid but I could see that happening as well.

Key To Look For:

Casey and Cummings generating chances. We'll be lucky to get any kind of offensive push out of that midfield, Conor and Omar are going to have to do most of the heavy lifting on their own. We've got a pretty solid defense in front of an OK keeper, so we should give up too many goals. I'm not sure how much offense we'll be able to generate though.

Prediction: 1-0 loss. On the road with a makeshift lineup against a team playing for their playoff lives and on FieldTurf. I just don't see us winning this one. The key here is to try to minimize the damage in goals, cards, and injuries. I'll be somewhat impressed if the team gets a draw and I'll be stunned (and very hopeful about our chances in the playoffs) if we manage a win.

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