Thursday, July 24, 2014

Honoring Pablo

7:15 tomorrow night Mastroeni goes into the Gallery of Honor

The Rapids are back home tomorrow night for the first time in three weeks.  They'll be facing former assistant coach and the rest of the Under-A-Chivas.  We'll also see former Rapids Martin Chavez and Nathan Sturgis, but not Martin Rivero who's season is over after a knee injury.  Game time tomorrow is 7:30pm but get to your seats by 7:15 for the Gallery of Honor ceremony for head coach and club legend Pablo Mastroeni.  The tailgate will start its normal 3 hours ahead of time at 4:30 but it will shut down at 6:30 instead of 7 to make sure everyone can get into the stadium before the ceremony.  For those that can't make it the game will be on Altitude and I'm sure they'll show the ceremony during the pre-game show.

Injury Report:
QUESTIONABLE: DF Shane O'Neill (R knee sprain); MF Jose Mari (L ankle sprain); FW Deshorn Brown (R groin strain)

The-soon-to-be-formerly-known-as-Chivas USA has 3 players out, including Rivero, and one player questionable.  It seems very unlikely that any of our injured three will be available tomorrow.  Based on that, here's my guess at the XI:

That defense was the original plan last week before Burch got sick and I think we go back to it.  I can't believe Watts plays after his last 3 games now that LaBrocca is back.  Sanchez will start, Hill and Buddle are bigger question marks.  We could see Torres for example, or maybe even Eloundou if healthy.

Strategic Consideration: Don't outsmart ourselves.  We're entering another one of those 3 games in a week weeks and so far this season we've outsmarted ourselves in those weeks.  This week its home games against Western Conference opponents with a trip to the East in-between.  If we're going to punt on a game, punt on the trip to New England.

Prediction: 2-1 win, goals by Sanchez and Powers.  Cubo Torres is hot right now and will find a goal for Chivas USA.  At home on a big night for the club though Sanchez won't let the team lose.  Powers and Sanchez take over the midfield and keep the pressure up until we get the lead and eventually the 3 points.

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