Saturday, March 5, 2016

Are You Red..Y?

Lots of talk over the last 4 months becomes action tomorrow as this season finally gets started.  For the Rapids that means a game in San Jose.  Its hard to think of a season opener as a "must win" (unless we're talking college football) but considering this is the only game we play against a non 2015 playoff team or FSL until Philly comes to Commerce City on May 28th this is about as close to one as you can get.  Kickoff tomorrow is at 1pm.  Fleming and presumably Balboa will have the call on Altitude 2, channel 900 on Comcast HD.  Centennial 38 will have its season kickoff party tomorrow at the Celtic starting at 11.  Silent auction, giveaways, FIFA tournament, etc. for the first couple of hours before kickoff.

Player Availability:
OUT: D Sean St. Ledger (knee injury)
SUSPENDED: M Jermaine Jones (through 4/13)
UNAVAILABLE: D Joseph Greenspan (Navy duty)

The name you don't see there, surprisingly, is Sam Cronin.  Up until Wednesday he was listed as suspended due to picking up a yellow and a red in the next to last game last season.  The red got him suspended for the final game and the yellow got him suspended for the first game this season due to yellow card accumulation. MLS realized the loophole he fell through (players that get their yellow card accumulation suspension due to a card in the final game don't carry over, but Cronin's was in the next to last game) so he will be available.  Pappa is not listed on the injury report either, though with his lack of preseason playing time I expect he's on the bench at best.  San Jose has one player suspended and one player out.

Starting XI Prediction:

Most of this is fairly obvious.  The only questions I have is right wing and who's next to Cronin.  It could be Solignac instead of Badji and Azira instead of Watts.  The back 5 are no brainers.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by K.Doyle.  Its always hard to predict the opening match or two, especially with the missing players we have.  I don't expect pretty soccer in this one but I think we get a point on the road.

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