COMMERCE CITY CO - OCTOBER 23: Jamie Smith #20 of the Colorado Rapids dribbles the ball past Javier Morales #11 of Real Salt Lake during the first half at Dick's Sporting Goods Park October 23 2010 in Commerce City Colorado. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
Note: Tonight's scheduled article was going to be a piece discussing Pablo Mastroeni's injury and the possible formation switches that we could see from Colorado, perhaps bringing up Steven Emory or Davy Armstrong into the center in their first MLS starts. Thanks to Nick Thomas from the MLS, it's been pretty much published that it's most like Jamie Smith who will be taking on the spot start.
Saying that Joesph Nane was pretty bad in the game against FC Dallas last Friday could possibly be labeled as the understatement of the century. The defensive midfielder depth on the Rapids is not only incredibly shaky when it comes to talent but it's also a youth movement, with both Nane and Ross LaBeaux having nothing close to the talent and, possibly more importantly, the experience that Pablo brings to his holding midfielder spot where he deflects passes, creates brilliant chances for his offensive men farther up the field and plays shutdown defense everywhere he goes.
Against the best team in the league in Real Salt Lake, it's looking pretty likely that Colorado will be rolling out a somewhat novel idea for their defensively oriented team, a 4-4-2 with an extra ATTACKING midfielder in the center rather than the two holders that we're used to. That attacking midfielder will most likely be Jamie Smith.
Jamie is one of the bigger wildcards on the team, being one of the best players in the first three games of the season and then turning invisible against FC Dallas last week. His two goals are tied for the team lead, and he's already shown before that he has the creativity and offensive flair to be an attacking central midfielder as he played the position against the Portland Timbers, but it will be interesting nonetheless to watch him try and play a full 90 minutes in the position for the first time as a Rapid.
Wells Thompson is my pick for Jamie's replacement on the wing simply because Wells has some of the best defense on the wing out of any of the Rapids choices. Sanna Nyassi is also a contender to start opposite Brian Mullan.