Thursday, July 17, 2014

Depleted Rapids Head To Portland

Maybe one of these guys can play?

Missing 4 starters Colorado heads into Providence Park (formerly Jeld-Wen Field) tomorrow night for a tough game against the Timbers.  The Rapids have only ever scored once in Portland, and that goal should have been called offside but it got them their one win in Oregon.  Game time tomorrow night is 9pm MDT and the game is on NBC Sports, which means kickoff is going to be more like 9:20-9:25ish.  NBC Sports is channel 689 on Comcast systems in Denver.

Injury Report:
OUT: MF Jose Mari (sprained ankle)

Disciplinary Report:
SUSPENDED: DF Shane O'Neill; MF Nick LaBrocca; MF Vicente Sanchez

Portland hasn't updated its injury report since June 27th and only then they only had Questionable players so assume they're going to be at full strength.  We, obviously, aren't.  My guess, and that's all it is, at what we see tomorrow night:

With 3 midfielders missing that's the hardest area to figure out.  We've seen Klute on the right at times before and that seems like the safest choice.  Torres showed well last week and I think with our undermanned midfield he might get a chance as a way of holding the ball up top.  The midfield is a toss-up.  We could see Watts benched and Hairston in the back with Eloundou playing for example.

Strategic Consideration: Defense.  Portland has the 4th best offence but the 3rd worst defense.  If we can stay solid in the back we should have opportunities to steal points.

Prediction: 2-1 loss, goal by Brown.  I think the missing talent is too much to overcome for the Rapids tomorrow.  Because of the weak defense the Rapids will get a goal but our inability to maintain possession in midfield will wear us down and Portland will get a winner late.

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