Friday, May 29, 2009

The Bus Left And I Wasn't On It

I was planning to go up to training today to offer you penetrating insights for tomorrow's big game but I got a message that the team bus was leaving for the airport just as I planned to be there so grateful I didn't waste a trip. As a result, though, my insights will be less than penetrating. Nevertheless, the game tomorrow for the Rapids against New York remains intriguing. The Red Bulls are having a pretty miserable season and the Rapids are afraid of nobody. Simple victory for the Rapids then, on paper. But, we play on grass not paper, or artifical turf anyway. The key to the game could be the opening 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes. This season, the Rapids are typically piling on the intensity from the get-go whether at home or away. It means they can often take a lead. The question is, can they hold it? Do they know how to protect a lead? Last week was somewhat revealing in that there seemed to be a lack of communication between Gary Smith and some of the players which led to different approaches as to how to protect a lead. Go more on the defensive to protect a one goal lead or more on the offensive to stretch a lead and make sure of the game that way. Hopefully, the team has been communicating better in practice this week. It will be very interesting to see what happens if the Rapids can get on top "early doors" and go into halftime ahead. What will the strategy be then as the second half wears on?
I am not aware of any injuries to likely starters so I wouldn't expect too many changes from last week. My guess is that it will be the same starting eleven as played against Seattle last Saturday. I would think Terry Cooke would likely get some action in the second half but that could well depend on the state of the game. Seems hard to believe that Cooke would come on if the Rapids are ahead and in control. Cooke is a game changer when coming on as a substitute and better known for his glorious attacking skills than his defensive ones. Can't wait. Hope to see you at SoBo tomorrow night.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that you wrote something along the lines of, "we won't see Cooke if we're ahead" and BOOM, Smith puts him in with a lead :)

the boys looked very sharp yesterday - especially considering their brutal travel schedule the past couple of weeks. They looked this good against Seattle too but there is a difference between Conway and Keller. If we can just shore up the defense we could really contend late into the season. Finding another forward would be nice too because it is looking like Casey may be representing the Red, White and Blue this summer.

And for what it's worth, Mehdi has really looked the part since his one-game benching. I'm impressed.

Nick Thomas said...

Yes, that was a bit shocking to see Cooke. I put something on that in my just filed match report. Go Rapids!