Saturday, November 26, 2016

For All The Marbles

That's the cliche this week at least

At home facing a one goal deficit.  Didn't we just do this?  Things are a little different this time around as the Rapids do have a road goal in their back pocked to a repeat of the LA home game means skipping extra time and going straight to MLS Cup.  Of course I think Seattle is going to much harder to stop on offense than LA's geriatric stars.  Anything less than a win and Seattle goes to their first MLS Cup.  A 1-0 sends us through, a 2-1 win sends us to extra time.  Any other one goal win by the Rapids isn't enough as Seattle would go through on away goals.  Any multi-goal win by Colorado though wins the series without worrying about away goals.  Kickoff tomorrow is at 2 (2:18 to be exact) and the tailgate will start early at 10:30.  Those of you unable to make it (like some of my Sounder fan family members back in Seattle...) can watch the game on ESPN.

Player Availability:
OUT: GK Tim Howard (season ending abductor break) M Dillon Serna (season ending ACL tear)
SUSPENDED; M Sam Cronin (yellow card accumulation)

Dempsey is out and two other players are questionable for Seattle.  Yellow card accumulations don't carry into MLS Cup or next season, so the only suspensions we would have to worry about are from a red card in this match.  Missing Cronin is going to hurt but I think some in the media are making more of it than it really is.  Azira is fresh and played in that spot the majority of the season.  Other than that I expect everyone to be available to start, we have to leave it all on the field.

Starting XI Prediction:

I doubt we'll see a change in the back, despite how bad some people played in Leg 1.  Now is just too late to mix things up by bringing Williams in or something.  The middle of the field is the question mark.  We could see the same lineup as Tuesday except Azira inserted for Cronin but I think we'll see a little more of a change.  Badji was pretty much useless and I think Pablo, knowing he needs at least 1 goal (and probably more) will want to give Jones more freedom to attack.  Jones gets pushed forward, Powers and Azira fill the spots behind him, and Badji goes to the bench with Doyle becoming the lone forward.

Prediction: 1-1 draw, goal by Doyle.  I don't know why but I'm not feeling confident going into this one.  Seattle is clearly not the same team as they were the first half of the season and they're playing better than LA right now.  While we controlled the second leg against LA we still only won 1-0.  I feel like we'll need more than 1 goal in this one and I don't see us finding it.

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