Friday, October 25, 2013

Rapids Go For Clean Sweep Over Canada


Here we are, the end of the regular season.  After going 4 for 4 against Canada so far this season Colorado can guarantee a home playoff game with a win in Vancouver on Sunday night.  Depending on Portland's game on Saturday and the LA-Seattle game kicking off an hour after we do on Sunday the Rapids could finish anywhere from 2nd to 5th but only a win will get them above 4th while a draw will leave them in either 4th or 5th.  Game time on Sunday is 6pm and the game is on Altitude 2.  Centennial 38 will be having one large party at the Celtic Tavern in LoDo.

Injury Report:
OUT: DF Davy Armstrong (R ACL surgery); DF Kory Kindle (sports hernia)
QUESTIONABLE: MF Dillon Powers (concussion); MF Vicente Sanchez (R shoulder sprain); MF Jamie Smith (R knee)

Disciplinary Report:
SUSPENDED AFTER ONE YELLOW; DF Shane O'Neill (Though any suspension would be served in the first game of the 2014 season, not the 2013 playoffs)

FW Charles Eloundou - Not eligible until 2014

Vancouver has Miller injured and Harvey suspended, otherwise they're at full strength but have nothing to play for.  Both Powers and Sanchez traveled to Vancouver, though Powers has not yet completed the league concussion protocols.  This is because the team has decided that if results end up with Seattle in 4th and Colorado in 5th, necessitating a mid-week playoff game in Seattle, the team will stay in the Northwest after the game on Sunday and not fly home.  If the Rapids are the 3rd seed (and not playing mid-week) or are hosting the mid-week game or are playing in LA they'll come home as usual.  Everyone else is available, but the starting lineup will probably be dependant somewhat on what happens in the Portland-Chivas USA game Saturday.  My guess at our XI:

This assumes Portland didn't lose to Chivas USA on Saturday night.  In that scenario the only way the Rapids avoid a mid-week game is to win and have LA-Seattle end in a draw, which I find highly unlikely.  I think Torres, Sanchez, and Powers will be held out to preserve them for the probable mid-week playoff game.  You might see Mera go in place of Moor as well.

Key To Look For: Balance.  We want the win in order to have the playoff game at home, but we don't want to wear ourselves down so much that we're too tired to take advantage of the home field.  Winning without killing ourselves should be our goal.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Brown.  The draw doesn't guarantee a home playoff game, but Seattle is so screwed up at the moment that they'll finish their game with a loss an hour after we finish, bringing them back to Colorado for the playoff game.  Brown will also tie the rookie record for goals.

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