Friday, October 16, 2009

Rapids Hoping for Ghosts of Playoffs Past in Dallas

In 2002, 2005, and 2006 Colorado traveled to Dallas and knocked them out of the playoffs (In 1997 we knocked Dallas out in Colorado). In 2009 Dallas faces a must win game at home to Colorado to keep their playoff hopes alive, while Colorado has a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win. While not an actual playoff game, its essentially a do or die game. Hopefully history from prior playoff games in Dallas repeats itself.

Game time tomorrow is at 6:30 MDT. Special note on the broadcast, this game is on Altitude 2, not Altitude. The supporters groups will be gathering at the British Bulldog as usual.

The Rapids are rooting for Toronto, Chicago, and Columbus tomorrow to win and improve their playoff chances.

Official Injury Report:
OUT: MF Colin Clark (L ACL tear); MF Jacob Peterson (R ACL tear); MF Jamie Smith (L knee strain)

Official Discipline Report:
SUSPENDED: Mehdi Ballouchy, Julian Baudet
TWO CAUTIONS FROM SUSPENSION: Omar Cummings, Cory Gibbs, Kosuke Kimura, Scott Palguta

Dallas is missing Anthony Wallace due to injury, otherwise they have a full line-up. The suspensions of Ballouchy and Baudet is going to cause the rapids to do some shuffling in their lineup. Its nice to have Pickens and Gibbs back to fill some holes though. My guess at the lineup:

Moor - Gibbs - Palguta
Pablo - LaBrocca
Kimura - Noonan - Harvey
Cummings - Casey

I think the 3-5-2 is still the bet way to get our top XI available players on the field. Obviously we still have serious deficiencies on offense, but we're out of players. Casey's 180 minutes this week with the National team will probably mean he'll be subbed midway through the second half, but we need to get everything out of him we can until that point.

Key To Look For:
Offense, offense, offense. We haven't scored from anywhere but the spot in 4 games. I realize we're missing all of our wingers, but somebody has to lead this team to the goal otherwise the only soccer we're going to be watching in November is the Denver Dynamite.

Yellow Card Alert: Conor Casey is sitting one game from suspension and is tired. He has to keep his mouth in check and get through this game without getting a card. The last thing we want to do is to go into the last game against FSL needing a result without our top scorer.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Conor Casey. Casey is going to be challenged by going head-to-head against the other competitor for this year's Golden Boot and will respond with a goal. Unfortunately Cunningham is on such a run that the Rapids defense won't be able to keep him off he board and Dallas will also get a goal.

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