The Colorado Rapids face Western Conference rival Houston Dynamo in a key Major League Soccer clash that has playoff implications all over it. The Rapids are coming off a victory on the road in Chicago whereas the Dynamo are looking to rebound after a tough draw against Portland. How will this match shake out? Here is hoping the Burgundy Boys figure this one out and pick up three points against a resilient Dynamo team.
The Goal for the Rapids: Win.
What to Watch For:
1) Zero Margin for Error: The Rapids are eight points from a playoff berth and simply have no margin for error in this one. They must win this game. Anything less and they can kiss their season goodbye.
2) Pablo Trust Issues: Pablo Mastroeni simply does not want a majority of players on the pitch at one time who are in charge of scoring goals. He consistently starts a more defensive lineup which seems to suggest he does not trust his attacking options. If the Rapids are going to have any shot at a playoffs they must start a lineup that has attacking intent rather than a lineup that is filled with defenders and defensive midfielders.
3) The Ideal Starting XI: Is it as simple as just one D-Mid or is the way the players are lined up an issue as well? I think a bit of both but it does not matter because I can shout until I am blue in the face, but nothing will change until Pablo realizes that what he is doing is not working. I largely think he got the starting formation right, but needs to have Dillon Powers as an attacking Mid behind the main striker (in this case, Kevin Doyle). I would love this set up:
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Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Claudiu Badea and Fabio Tovar
Fourth Official: Tyler Ploeger
Injuries: Colorado--OUT: Luis Solignac and Jared Watts. LISTED ON THE REPORT: Lucas Pittinari, James Riley and Joseph Greenspan. Houston: OUT: Jermaine Taylor. QUESTIONABLE: DaMarcus Beasley, Giles Barnes, Kofi Sarkodie and Raul Rodriguez. PROBABLE: Ricardo Clark
Suspensions: Colorado--None. Houston--None
How To Watch:
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, August 26 at 7:00 PM MDT
Venue: Dick's Sporting Goods Park--Commerce City, Colorado
TV Information: Altitude Sports (Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa)
Radio Information: 1340 AM (English Language Broadcast) and 1650 AM (Spanish Language Broadcast)
Tickets: (303) 825-GOAL and www.coloradorapids.com
Weather at Kickoff: 79 degrees and partly cloudy
Supporters Information: Stout Street Bulldogs
Predicted Starting XI
To be honest...I just have no idea how the Rapids will lineup. Pablo has his ways of doing thing that no one really understands.......so my best guess:
Clint Irwin, Maynor Figueroa, Sean St. Ledger, Bobby Burling, Drew Moor, Dillon Powers, Marcelo Sarvas, Sam Cronin, Dillon Serna, Kevin Doyle, Gabriel Torres.
This will serve as your official Burgundy Wave game thread for this critical match. Check back for commentary, analysis, opinion and more!