Friday, March 13, 2009

Rapids Reveal Likely Starting XI in Win Over Seattle

The Colorado Rapids went to Seattle and scored a 1-0 victory over the Sounders in their last preseason game yesterday. More importantly, the line-up revealed the very likely starting XI for the opening game of the season next week against Chivas and the way coach Gary Smith is envisaging his optimal team for the campaign. No real surprises apart from the fact that Jacob Peterson looks as if he could be playing a bigger role than many expected, possibly at the expense of Terry Cooke starting. It's also interesting to note that Mehdi Ballouchy could get a start with the Rapids playing a more attacking midfield and Nick LaBrocca possibly on the bench. The most clear choice is at goalkeeper. Matt Pickens will almost certainly start against Chivas and has the chance to lay claim to the number one spot ahead of Preston Burpo for the season. You couldn't really say that is a big surpise. Pickens is, after all, a player in the US national team squad. Goalkeeping coach, David Kramer, said on last week's From The Pitch radio show, that the choice of starting goalkeeper would be made by the time of the Seattle game. Choice made, therefore, at least for now. The Rapids won last night's game on a Conor Casey first-half penalty. Here is the starting line-up courtesy of
Colorado Rapids Lineup: Matt Pickens, Jordan Harvey, Cory Gibbs (Ivan Guerrero 66), Ugo Ihemelu (Ty Harden 66), Kosuke Kimura, Pablo Mastroeni (Nick LaBrocca 66), Colin Clark (Terry Cooke 66), Jacob Peterson, Mehdi Ballouchy, Omar Cummings (Gregory Richardson 66), Conor Casey (Ross Schunk 66)


Jason Maxwell said...

Nick, do you think Harvey has locked down the LB spot over Guerrero?

I'm puzzled at the Peterson/Cooke decision. Jacob must have taken significant strides this offseason to supplant Cooke in the RM role.

Nick Thomas said...

Jason, I don't think anything is set in stone re Cooke/Peterson. I would be surprised too. Maybe Smith may want to change the style of attack and not overrely on Cooke's crosses. I'll try and get that sorted out with him this week. Does seem that Harvey may be preferred as a starter right now. There's also these reports about the Rochester defender (Palguta) coming in as a left-sided defender so there could be some stiff competition there.