Friday, March 27, 2015

I Will Avoid The Obvious Houston Joke

Now don't lose your head Ned

But we do have a severe lack of offense.  Colorado heads to Houston tomorrow trying to break both its 420 minute scoreless streak and its 16 game winless streak.  The good news is that the Dynamo are seriously depleted due to injuries and national team callups.  The bad news is that due to the Avs and Nuggets playing at the same time there won't be any TV for this one until 11:30pm on Altitude.  1600 AM The Zone will have live radio coverage of the game though.  The blackout rules are still in effect on MLS Direct Kick and MLS Live so those aren't options if you're in Altitudes viewing area.  Kickoff, for those that can watch it live, is at 6:30pm.

Injury Report:
OUT: D Drew Moor (ACL); D Marlon Hairston (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: D Axel Sjoberg (foot); M Carlos Alvarez (ankle)

International Absences:
United States U-23: D Shane O'Neill

Houston has 8 players questionable or worse or on international duty, including former Rapid Nathan Sturgis.  Obviously losing our 3 best central defenders is not ideal and that's going to be the critical area of this match.  The fact that Jared Watts is likely to start does not fill me with confidence.  My guess at the XI:

There's talk that we might see Riley again and that Torres will move up top in place of Badji, but my guess is that Pablo minimizes the changes due to the shake up in central defense.  

Strategic Consideration: The back line.  We've been solid for two games but this is the weakest back line we'll see, especially if Riley comes back in place of Burch.  I doubt we get through this game unscathed.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Powers.  Yes, this is the 3rd game in a row I've predicted that scoreline but to be fair, the last two games were draws.  Both defenses are too week to expect shutouts but I'm not yet ready to predict a road win for this team.

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