Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Colorado Head To Tampa For USOC 3rd Round

Tonight the Rapids are in Tampa to face the NASL Tampa Bay Rowdies in the 3rd Round of the U.S. Open Cup.  If Colorado wins they will travel to the winner of the Orlando - Kansas City game next Tuesday for the quarter-finals.  Game time tonight is 5:30pm MDT and there will be at least a Twitter feed, possibly a video stream, at the Rowdies website.

Given our injury woes a strong roster left for Tampa on Sunday.  12 of the 14 players who played against Montreal on Saturday went on the trip, with only Matt Pickens and Jeff Larentowicz staying behind.  The full travel roster:

GK: Ceus, Joyce
DF: Moor, Marshall, Freeman, Kimura, Zapata, Ababio, Palguta
MF: Castrillon, Rivero, Thompson, Hill, Henao, Nane
FW: Edu, Akpan, Cascio

That means, outside of Pickens, Ginger, and the injured players, the only members of the roster that didn't travel were Armstrong, Yamada, and Amarikwa.  The first two are very young players that are long-term projects and the 3rd we know has been dealing with a personal issue and is also under evaluation by the team.  I'd say that's a pretty solid travel roster.

The real key is who the starting XI is.  If its a strong one we should be able to beat Tampa for our first actual USOC win in 5 years.  If its mainly reserves then we might see results like we've seen in the last few seasons, a good effort but eventually a loss.  Until I have a better idea of how Pareja is going to prioritize the USOC I'm not going to make any more of a prediction than that.

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