Friday, March 23, 2012

Undermanned Rapids Head For The Big Apple

New meaning to bridge over troubled water

Colorado is back in the Northeast on Sunday, just up the road from last week's game in Philly.  This will be the team's only look at New York this year, and it won't be a pretty one.  The midfield core is devastated by injury and suspension so there's a big challenge ahead of Pareja's team.  Game time is 2pm and this will be our only appearance on ESPN this year.

Injury Report:
OUT:  MF Pablo Mastroeni (headache symptoms); MF Jamie Smith (R ACL tear); DF Anthony Wallace (L Achilles tear)
DOUBTFUL: FW Conor Casey (L Achilles tear)
PROBABLE: DF Hunter Freeman (R ankle arthroscopy)

Disciplinary Report:
SUSPENDED: MF Jeff Larentowicz

Ineligible: MF Martin Rivero (missing International Transfer Certificate)

Rivero did travel to NY with the team with the hope that his ITC situation is resolved by Sunday afternoon, but I'm not holding my breath.  The Red Bulls are only missing 3 players so they're close to full strength.  The absence of Pablo and Ginger Ninja rips the guts out of our midfield and its a big question as to how the hole will be filled.  Here's my shot in the dark guess at the starting XI:

Cascio - Cummings - Mullan
Thompson- Castrillon - LaBauex
Zapata - Wynne - Moor - Kimura

We could also see Mullan pulled back and Akpan inserted up top, Rivero in the midfield if he's eligible, even Moor played a few minutes in the midfield this week in practice.  Whatever the lineup there's going to be lots of work to go around.

Key To Look For: Um, yeah, the midfield.  Obviously.

Prediction: 2-0 Rapids loss.  We saw some poor midfield play last week when we had our normal starting XI.  I don't see that improving this week with a makeshift middle 3.  Between Henry and Marquez NY will control this game from start to finish.  Sucks.

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