Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Wheels Are About To Come Off

(Those of you who think I'm too pessimistic may just want to skip this one)

Full game recap coming tomorrow as normal but after last night I think this team is in a world of hurt and its largely due to Pablo's coaching and front office mismanagement (and to be fair, some bad luck with injuries).

Five games  into the season means we've had a chance to use 15 subs.  Pablo has used 9.  Its not hard to watch the Rapids and see some gassed players at the end of the game (like Pappa and Gashi last night).  Yet players like Serna and Conor Doyle stay on the bench.

That's bad enough in a normal week.  Its a long season and there's no reason so average less than 2 subs a game just to get players rest if for no other reason.  Its a horrendous decision though going into a week like this one.  We play in Kansas City on Wednesday and host RBNY Saturday night.

Looking at our roster we have one player (Jones) suspended for KC and 2-3 out for both games (St. Ledger, Doyle, probably Berner).  We have two others injured enough to not even make the bench for FSL (Hairston, Watts) so the best we can expect is their availability off the bench at some point this week.  Finally we have Williams who's stuck in visa limbo but hopefully will be in KC after not training with the team in over 3 weeks.  We also have two players (Appiah, Calvert) on loan in Charlotte.

So that's best case 7 players and worst case 9 unavailable for this whole week.  On a 28 man roster that's a big hit.  On a 25 man roster, which is what the Rapids have right now, its disastrous.  That's why the last two games Colorado has only had 5 of a possible 7 players on their bench.

There's really no excuse for this as the league allows a 28 man roster.  We're saving one spot for Howard in mid-season, but that still leaves 2 unfilled spots on our roster.  Why are we 5 weeks into the season going into a busy week with unfilled spots?  What happened to "having our team together at start of camp" as Bravo set as the goal?  Maybe we'll have our team together at the roster deadline in September?

So that's the front office mismanagement that has put us in this situation.  Now lets look at Pablo's handling of it.  He knows what the schedule is and what he'll likely have available the rest of the week.  With that he used....1 sub last night.  1.  10 of the 11 starters went 90 including both Pappa and Gashi, who played their first full games this season.

So going into KC what do we have?
GK: MacMath, who has to be questioning himself at this point, Froschauer who's never played
D: Miller, Burling, Sjoberg, and Burch, all who played 90 last night (to be fair, Pablo had no subs for them) and maybe Williams coming back after 3 weeks away.  Serna could be moved here.
DM: Azira and Cronin, both after 90 minutes last night
AM: Pappa and Gashi, both off their first 90 minute outings last night, Pwoers, who got 11 extra minutes of rest, and Pfeffer and Serna who are rested.
F; Solignac, after 90 minutes of play, Badji, almost fully rested after playing almost 11 minutes, and Conor Doyle fully rested

That's it.  Most likely we're going to line up the same 11 in KC as we did last week, maybe with Williams or Serna instead of Burch or Miller.  We will hopefully use all 3 subs.

Then on Saturday we'll get Jones back, maybe Berner, Watts, or Hairston.  But again the majority of the lineup from FSL and KC will have to start again.  How much do you think Gashi or Pappa or Burling is going to have in heir legs by the 60th minute Saturday night?

Its not like Pablo's teams have a real good track record in 3-game weeks.  7 times under Pablo we've played 3 games in 7-9 days.  In the first game we've had 5 wins and 2 draws before last night.  That's a great record.  Then it all goes downhill.  In the second game we've had 1 win, 3 draws, and 3 losses.  In the third and final game of the week we've had 1 win, 1 draw, and 5 losses.

In every case we've never had a better result later in the week than we had earlier in the week.  Last August, the lat time we had a 3 game week, we won all 3 games but other than that its been W-D-L or W-L-L, or D-L-L.

So we've got a tired team going into a series of games that historically we get worse in as we go on.  Instead of signing a full roster and using all our subs to stay fresh for these games we played most of our available players 90 minutes.

I fully expect the wheels to come off this week and for us to end it with at best 8 points after 7 games.  A far cry from the 7 points after 4 games we were at a week ago.

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