Friday, May 3, 2013

Canadian Invasion Starts Tomorrow

Maple-Drizzled Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs at the tailgate

One of our annual invasions from Canada this week as Toronto comes to down for the only meeting of the year.  TFC had a mid-week game in Canada's version of the U.S. Open Cup, where they lost 6-0 to their rivals from Montreal.  So they're either going to be ready to put a beat down on the Rapids or completely whipped and ready to slink home.  As you can see, there will be a limited number of treats honoring our guests at the tailgate so get their early.  The food starts at 4pm with kickoff at 7.  Those of you who can't make it can watch the game on Altitude, or on MLS Live outside of Altitude's range as its the free streaming game of the week.

Injury Report:
OUT:  DF Diego Calderon (R knee Surgery), GK Matt Pickens (L arm fracture), MF Hendry Thomas (L hamstring strain), DF Marvell Wynne (R quad strain)
QUESTIONABLE: FW Deshorn Brown (thigh), FW Edson Buddle (lower back pain), MF Jaime Castrillon (R knee surgery), MF Kevin Harbottle (L strained MCL)

FW Charles Eloundou - Still waiting on International Transfer Certificate

The Rapids added Thomas and removed Rivero and Mastroeni from the injury report, so I guess that's a step in the right direction.  Buddle and Brown are both expected to be available off the bench as well, but not start.  Toronto has 3 players out and 2 questionable on the injury report.  My guess at our starting XI:

This is a real guess this week as with both Pablo and Rivero available I'm not sure how the lineup might shift. I'm assuming that since they aren't on the injury report both Pablo and Rivero are available to start.  Assuming so, with Thomas' injury, Pablo is the obvious replacement and Rivero is too key to not start, though I don't see how you can bench Powers.  So trying to find a midfield where all 3 of those guys fit in is a bit tricky.  The 4th could be either Smith or Cascio (or even Mwanga) but Smith has looked the best so far.  Up front Harris seems to be a lock, inexplicably, and I think Mwanga has shown slightly better than Hill.

Key To Look For: Can our offense find the back of the net?  I'm not real scared of Toronto putting up a large number of goals, so if we can get more than 1 we stand a good chance of winning.

Prediction: 2-1 win, goals by Smith and Brown.  Smith will get the Rapids up early and Brown will come off the bench to get the game-winner after Toronto levels the score.

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