Friday, September 10, 2010

Rapids Hope To Send Red Bulls Splashing

Colorado is in NY tomorrow facing the Red Bulls. Its their second trip to NY this year after losing there in the U.S. Open Cup play-in. After their two 3-0 wins the last two weeks the Rapids are riding high, but they face a much improved RBNY team who now sport Rafa Marquez and Thierry Henry. Game time is an early 2pm Denver time, with the game both on KWGN and on Telefutura. No official watch party for this one, but I'm sure the regular spots will have the game on.

Injury Report:
OUT: MF Ciaran O'Brien (L hip sprain); MF Colin Clark (L ACL tear); FW Ross Schunk (R ACL tear)
PROBABLE: GK Matt Pickens (back spasms), DEF Marvell Wynne (L hamstring strain)

Discipline Report:
ONE CAUTION FROM SUSPENSION: Conor Casey, Pablo Mastroeni
TWO CAUTIONS FROM SUSPENSION: Omar Cummings, Jeff Larentowicz

Marvell Wynne reportedly did not make the trip to NY. I also would not be surprised to find out Ian Joyce did not make the trip as his wife delivered their first child on Monday. Congrats to the Joyces! NY has 5 players either out to injury or on duty with the U.S. U-20 team, so they're hurting as well. My best guess on the starting XI:

Kimura - Moor - Baudet - Wallace
Ballouchy - Larentowicz - Pablo - Smith
Cummings - Casey

I think we see no change from the starting group last week. It worked well and after some initial difficulty Wallace fit in well. The only change I could see is if Smith thinks we have possession issues on the road and shifts Cummings back to his position in the 4-5-1, but I think he's realized the value of the 4-4-2.

Key To Look For: Do the Rapids play up to their opponents? NY is significantly better than the two teams we just beat 3-0. Will the Rapids raise their game to match them, or will they think that they've done well enough up to this point?

Prediction: 1-0 loss. I think NY is a very good team and the Rapids aren't at their level yet. We have a solid defense but I expect that the Red Bulls can shut down our offense. We're also playing early on the road, which won't help. Add in the emotional impact of NY playing (essentially) in NY on 9/11 and I think that they'll get a close win.

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