Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rapids Face Must-Win CCL Game

Tomorrow night Real Espana becomes the final CCL team to make the trip to Denver for the group stage. In August we faced them in Honduras using mostly a team of reserves and drew 1-1. The only members of our best XI that started that game were Kimura, Larentowicz, and Cummings with Moor getting 20 and Nyassi getting 10 minutes late. Colorado was under siege that game, with only some bad shooting by Real and good saves by Ceus keeping us from losing.

This is pretty much a must-win game if the Rapids want to get pout of the stage. Assuming that Isidro Metapan doesn't pull the upset of the stage by winning in Mexico on Thursday, Colorado can clinch a spot in the knock-out rounds with wins tomorrow night and next week in Metapan. Given that we are almost certainly going to fail to get points in Mexico, given how our first team played against Santos last week, winning the next two games is really our only shot at getting out of the group. Of course we also really need to best San Jose on Saturday, so Gary Smith has to figure out how to juggle the lineup.

Prediction: 1-0 Rapids win. Real Espana looked dangerous against the back line of our reserves, but a starting team that has worked together would have successfully stopped much of their attack. Our offense isn't exactly clicking on all cylinders though, so I don't expect us to do much better than our reserves did. Of course this prediction assumes we see something close to a first-team starting XI.

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