Tuesday, June 8, 2010

One More Stop Before Focusing On South Africa

While the world's attention shifts to South Africa there's still one more game for the Rapids before then. Colorado is in Chicago for their rescheduled game from May 22nd. Game time tomorrow is 7pm MDT. There is no TV for this match due to the rescheduling. It can only be seen in Denver via Direct Kick and MatchDay Live. I talked to Jeff Plush yesterday and he got the blackout restrictions for MatchDay Live lifted int he Denver market for all Rapids games. Hopefully the techs at NeuLion actually made the changes correctly.

Injury Report:
OUT: DF Kosuke Kimura (L ankle stress fracture); MF Ciaran O'Brien (L hip sprain); FW Ross Schunk (R ACL tear); PROBABLE: DF Julien Baudet (L knee strain); MF Jamie Smith (R hamstring strain)

Discipline Report:
SUSPENDED: Pablo Mastroeni (Red card vs. Crew)

The Fire's injury and discipline report hasn't been updated yet so I'm not sure what their status is. Obviously Pablo being out will cause a shuffling for Gary Smith. My best guess:

Wynne - Moor - Baudet - Earls
Thompson - Ballouchy - Clark
Cummings - Casey

I think Smith goes back to the 4-4-2 we started the season with instead of trying to fill Pablo's role with LaBauex. Thompson seems to be the most likely person to take the right mid spot, but it could be Smith.

Key To Look For: Midfield control. The Fire play a 4-5-1, and we saw earlier this season the Rapids 4-man midfield struggled to link the defense and the attack. Having Cummings back up front should increase our scoring chances, but only if we can get the ball to them.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Omar Cummings. I think Omar will take advantage of being returned to the front line, but the reduction in possession by returning to a 4-man midfield will let Chicago generate more scoring chances. Eventually one breaks through, maybe by McBride on the eve of the World Cup.

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