Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rapids Face Galaxy In Western Semis Leg 1

Some love for a former Washington Huskies defensive coordinator

Its been 3 years since we've seen the playoffs and 5 since we've seen the conference semis but we're back!  Just to remind everyone the conference semis and finals are two legged affairs leading to the one game MLS Cup on Dec. 10th, hosted at the Dick if we make it.  The away goals ruels is in effect as a tiebreaker as well.  Coverage of Leg 1 starts on ESPN tomorrow at 3 with kickoff scheduled for 3:23.  Centennial 38 is having a big watch party at the Irish Rover and is picking up the first $1000 in drinks.

Player Availability:
OUT: M Dillon Serna (season ending ACL tear)

MLS has once again shown the pointlessness of the injury report by not updating it since the day before the last week of the regular season.  The Rapids game guide list Serna, Zardes, and Gerrard as "injured" but with no detail of if that means Out, Probable, or something in-between.  What I've been seeing is that Gerrard might be available but Zardes likely won't be.  Serna, obviously, will not be.

Starting XI Prediction:

I'm confident in about half this lineup.  Howard, Sjoberg, Burch, Cronin, and Gashi will start barring some unannounced injury.  The other half is a best guess.  I don't know how healthy Burling, Hairston, and Jones really are.  I think the first two are probably good enough to go and I expect Jones will come off the bench.  Because of that I think we see Doyle in the withdrawn striker/creative mid position he played inthe last couple of games with Badji in front of him.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Badji.  There's a lot of doom and gloom from some Rapids fans after seeing LA rip apart FSL on Wednesday but I think we're over-looking what the Rapids have done this season (and how bad FSL is).  The Rapids have only been beaten 6 times, equal to LA, and only by multiple goals twice (@NE and @NYCFC).  While some in the media are treating Colorado as the underdogs LA never beat us this season.  I don't think that changes tomorrow.  It will be a tough game but they're an older team and are on their 3rd game in a week+1.5 hours.  Even if we do lose if we can keep it to a 1 goal loss and score an away goal we'll still be OK.  I don't see the Rapids getting blown off the pitch tomorrow.

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