Wha, Wha, What?!?!?!?!
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Last time <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rapids96?src=hash">#Rapids96</a> played on grass at CenturyLink Field, came before a match involving <a href="https://twitter.com/ManUtd">@ManUtd</a>, in 2011. This time, United the warm-up act.</p>— Richard Fleming (@FlemingSport) <a href="https://twitter.com/FlemingSport/status/621363774688104448">July 15, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Now, if you remember the last time that the Rapids played at C-Link with a NGF, they loss 4-3 but more importantly lost Conor Casey to a torn achilles. This eventually led to Casey leaving at the end of the 2012 season for Philadelphia Union, so the Rapids may not have particularly fond memories of it.
Why the natural grass? Manchester United is playing Club American in the International Champions Cup tonight (July 17) at C-Link. So....that is great. The Rapids and Sounders play on a NGF that is overlaid on artificial turf the night after another match is played on it. Great. And One Direction played on it on Wednesday night? Seriously, a comedy of errors.
And our friends at Sounder at Heart are none too pleased about this (and I totally agree with them) and I had a chance to exchange questions with Dave about this and other items of note. Here is what we spoke about:
Burgundy Wave: C-Link has natural grass this weekend for the Man United-Club America match on Friday. Does this help or hurt the Rapids going into Seattle?
Sounder at Heart: Does Colorado enjoy sod overlay that hosted One Direction on Wednesday night and a stupid ICC friendly on Friday night? Any of them that talk to Conor Casey the answer will be no. Friendlies are dumb. Friendlies that change the surface are worse. Both teams will be unfamiliar with it, so there may be a small advantage for the visitors.
BW: With Oba out and Clint off with the USMNT, where are the goals coming from for Seattle?
SAH: They aren't. Since that dire US Open Cup match when Martins got injured and Dempsey ripped that ref's notebook the Sounders have two goals. One wound up not mattering when Lamar Neagle leveled the Portland match 1-1. Seattle would lose 4-1. The other was from right back Tyrone Mears in the only win since they crashed out of the Open Cup. Ideally Neagle would slip up top and start with Chad Barrett and the two would get a couple goals each during June and July. It's not ideal. It's so not ideal that the club signed S2's best direct signing. Andy Craven is now the first forward off the bench. He's also not scoring.
BW: Seattle has lost 4 of 5 matches. Is this a major cause of concern for the Sounders? Is Sigi feeling any heat?
SAH: Yes, it's an issue. It's not a Sigi issue as much as it is a Neagle, Barrett, stupid MLS schedule against the Gold Cup, stupid Dempsey tearing a notebook and damn injury issue. It's a horrible confluence of a lot of events. Prior to the losing the Sounders looked to be runaway Supporters Shield winners. The very real potential to get only 6 points in June and July is scary. Having just one of Clinfemi would breed confidence. At this point the fanbase won't be confident until another DP comes in or the dynamic duo is back. August should be fun, but this team already lost one major trophy and may have lost any chance at the Shield by the time the transfer window closes.
Predicted Lineup: Perkins; Remick, Scott, Marshall, Mears; Thomas, Rose, Alonso, Neagle; Craven, Jones
Predicted Outcome: 2-1 loss
You can see my answers over at Sounder at Heart