Friday, June 6, 2008

Rapids Fly Off Into Galaxy; Where is Bouna?

It was another perfect morning at Dick's Sporting Goods Park as the Rapids boys went through their paces ahead of this weekend's match before flying off to LA this afternoon. The plane will be without Pablo Mastroeni whose recent strong play has rightly earned him a call-up to the national team. Coach Clavijo said that he fully expects Mastroeni to start against Argentina on Sunday based on conversations with national team coach, Bob Bradley, and that he was not at all surprised he got such short playing time against Spain. The same satisfaction cannot be said for Senegal and Bouna's situation with the team. Clavijo revealed his frustration at not being able to contact the goalkeeper, especially as Bouna did not play in the opening World Cup qualifier against Algeria. "If he is not playing, I want him here," he said. Bouna is set to miss the next few weeks as he is with his national team until at least June 21. Senegal are away to Gambia on Sunday.
Frustrations aside, the projected line-up for tomorrow's game has a familiar look to it. Rafael Gomes looks to be coming in for Mastroeni just in front of the back three as Kosuke Kimura is set to return at right back. The midfield four remain constant and Clavijo's preferred duo of McManus and Casey will surely start.
I don't think there will be a place on the bench for either Jose Burciaga or Herculez Gomez. Both looked to be nursing injuries and worked separately to the rest of the squad with fitness coaches before putting large amounts of ice on their legs. The better news is that Mike Petke was back training with the squad as was Justin Hughes whose recent hernia surgery in Germany looks to have worked well. Justin could be back within the next two weeks and expressed relief that he can finally see an end to all his injury troubles. With Bouna back in town at the end of June, a fit Hughes, the newly acquired Preston Burpo and the two league goalkeepers in Chris Sharpe and Mike Graczyk, who knows how that will all shake out?
Here is the projected line-up for tomorrow's game as it appears on the Rapids' website.

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