Friday, July 1, 2011

The Annual Independence Day Game Is Here!

OK, so this year its on the 3rd and not the 4th, but the annual Independence Day game is upon us. Houston is in town trying to do what only two teams have done before, defeat the Rapids on the 4th (3rd) of July. The Rapids have won 11 of 15 games on this holiday weekend and tied 2. Game time on Sunday is 7pm, which means the Class Vi/Pid Army tailgate starts at 4pm and its going to be a big one this week so get there early! For those of you unable to get to the Dick, Colorado will make its first appearance on ESPN2 this year. For once I will not be watching on TV, as the move of the game from the 4th to the 3rd means I actually get to attend the game, then celebrate my 13th wedding anniversary the next day.

Injury Report:
DOUBTFUL: FW Macoumba Kandji (L knee ACL tear)
PROBABLE: FW Omar Cummings (R ankle sprain); MF Joseph Nane (R shoulder strain); GK Matt Pickens (R groin strain)

Disciplinary Report:
SUSPENDED AFTER 1 MORE CAUTION: MF Pablo Mastroeni (2 games good behavior removes one)
SUSPENDED AFTER 2 MORE CAUTIONS: FW Conor Casey; MF Jeff Larentowicz; DF Tyrone Marshall; DF Drew Moor; DF Anthony Wallace

Well once again we have a suspended player, for the 12th game in a row. That means it will be another game before the C+C Goal Factory is back on the pitch. Houston is missing 4 players to injury, so they aren't in much better shape. My guess on our lineup:

Kimura - Moor- Marshall - Wallace
Mullan - Mastroeni - Larentowicz - Smith
Cummings - Folan

Left back is still a big question mark as long as Wynne is injured. He's not on the injury report right now, but I doubt he starts his first game back, especially since this is a 3 game week. Folan seems to be the obvious choice to fill in for the suspended Casey.

Key To Look For: The Rapids have to get a lift from the sold-out crowd. Its been 2 months since our last home win, and they need to come out and play like they own their own house. Control the game, keep the Dynamo from thinking they're in it, and put up a dominating win.

Prediction: 2-1 win, goals by Cummings and Smith. Houston's not a very good team, but I don't trust our defense to get a shutout right now. The game will be closer than it should be, but the loud crowd will give the Rapids the edge they need to win this one.

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