Friday, May 20, 2011

Toronto Rapids In Town

OK, computer problems are fixed and I'm (pretty much) healthy again so back to our regularly scheduled blogging. On Sunday Toronto FC is in town along with 4 former Rapids (most on one team in the league). Dan Gargan, Ty Harden, Jacob Peterson, and Adrian "Dalek" Cann will have their sights back on Denver for this weekend's game. An unusual Sunday evening start
for this one at 5pm out at the Dick.

The tailgates are changing ever so slightly starting with this game. Pid Army has taken over responsibility for the kegs while Class VI will still provide the hot dogs and sodas. Because of that the drinking part of the tailgates will now start 3 hours before game time (so 2pm on Sunday) while the eating part will still start 2 hours before kickoff (3pm on Sunday).

Injury Report:
OUT: FW Macoumba Kandji (L knee ACL tear)
DOUBTFUL: FW Omar Cummings (R ankle sprain); FW Caleb Folan (R groin strain)
PROBABLE: FW Quincy Amarikwa (L ankle sprain); FW Conor Casey (L hamstring strain); GK Matt Pickens (R groin strain)

Disciplinary Report:
SUSPENDED: MF Brian Mullan (6 games)

Slowly but surely the Rapids are getting healthy. Still far too many forwards on that injury list though with 5 of the 6 strikers still appearing. Toronto has 7 players listed as questionable or worse, including Jacob Peterson who's out. Their DP, Julian DeGuzman, is suspended due to yellow card accumulation as well. My shot at the starting XI:

Kimura - Wynne - Marshall - Moor
Nyassi - Mastroeni - Larentowicz - Smith
Casey - Akpan

Since Casey got 30 minutes a week ago I'm assuming he should be in good enough shape to start at home. Akpan has looked good, so I'm guessing he'll get the nod over the nicked up Amarikwa, but that could go either way. The hardest call is the right back position. Nyassi hasn't shown that he can be the starter, but Thompson has been awful so I think Sanna gets another chance..

Key To Look For: Taking control of the game early. Toronto played in the Canadian Championship in Vancouver on Wednesday and will play Vancouver again in Toronto next Wednesday. They're banged up and their DP is suspended. There's no reason Toronto should have a shot in this game and the Rapids can't allow them to hang around in a 0-0 or 1-1 game. Colorado needs to control this game from the start and remove any hope TFC has.

Prediction: 2-0 win, goals from Casey and Smith. The Rapids injury problems up front will keep them from truly dominating this game the way they should, but they'll control the game and win comfortably. Casey is healthy enough to find the back of the net again and Smith continues his offensive MVP performance this season with a goal.

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