Monday, June 23, 2014

USOC Round 5 Tomorrow

To distract everyone from Thursday's showdown with Germany we've got another U.S. Open Cup match tomorrow night.  The NASL Atlanta Silverbacks are in town after beating FSL in the last round.  Game time tomorrow night is 7pm and the tailgate starts at 5pm.

Today the Rapids found out that with a win tomorrow night they'll host the quarterfinal matchup and their opponent will be the Fire-Crew winner.  That game would be played July 8th or 9th.

Knowing that they have a game over a lower-league team tomorrow and then they would host a Fire or Crew team that look beatable to get to the semis I think the Rapids should go all in on the U.S. Open Cup this year.  We should be favored to win tomorrow, then favored to beat the Fire or Crew at home.  That gets us two wins from a trophy with a 50/50 shot for each game to be at home.  With Seattle, KC, Portland, and SJ in the same part of the bracket a lot of dangerous MLS opponents will be eliminated before we could get to them.  Same thing with Dallas, Houston, and LA (along with lower-league Carolina) and Philly with New England along with the lower league Cosmos and Rochester.

Play the first team tomorrow night and (assuming we get a win) in the quarter-final.  Rotate players out if necessary on Saturday and for the 4th of July game.  Though with a week off before tomorrow's game, 4 days, then another week off before a 4-5 day break with no travel at all there shouldn't need to be that many changes.  I'm actually OK if we drop points in the next couple of weeks if that means we push through to a USOC final.

My prediction for tomorrow is that we see the first team.  On Friday night the reserves played in Sacramento and most of the players you would expect to start a non-first team USOC game played.  With the travel and the focus the team has on rest and keeping players healthy I wouldn't expect many of them to be available to start tomorrow night.  So that really leaves the main first team to play.  Given that I predict a win and a spot in the quarterfinals.

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