Friday, March 21, 2014

Opening Day 2014

A recent birthday gift from my in-laws

Well, home opening day at least.  The Rapids face the Timbers tomorrow at 4pm in Commerce City.  Of course, tomorrow being the 1-year anniversary of the SnowClasico, snow is forecast for tomorrow afternoon after 1pm, with 1-2 inches expected.  Colorado ha confirmed that the game will be played.  The first tailgate of the season starts at 1pm in the normal place, and those who can't make it to the game can watch it on Altitude.

Injury Report:
OUT: D Chris Klute (R hamstring strain); M Brian Mullan (L knee surgery)
QUESTIONABLE: GK Clint Irwin (R quad strain), F Danny Mwanga (sports hernia surgery)

Irwin practiced at almost 100% today and will be a game-time decision.  Serna left today's practice with an injury so his availability is unknown.  Portland has 2 players out and 2 players questionable.  My guess at our starting XI:

With the sloppy conditions tomorrow I'm betting that Pablo won't risk the health of Serna or Irwin.  Otherwise it will be Burch for Klute and the same lineup we saw in NY last week.  Maybe we see Powers pushed back next to Jose Mari and Sanchez moved into the center if Serna starts, but I doubt it.

Strategic Consideration: In the first two week of the season Portland has rescued a home draw with a late goal in each game.  Seeing the game out and keeping Portland from rescuing points late will be key as Portland will think that they're not out of it if they're only down one.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Brown.  I think the sloppy conditions will make it hard for either team to get a handle on the game and will allow a couple of ugly goals.  Brown had good chances last week, I think he finishes one this week.

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