Saturday, August 1, 2009

Near Full Squad Available as Rapids Face Crew

Gary Smith faces a selection dilemma today of the kind all coaches want. Too many players to choose from for tonight's home game against defending MLS champions, the Columbus Crew. Despite losing new French defender, Julien Baudet, out for up to six weeks following the broken bones in his arm sustained last week, Smith has a pretty full squad to pick from. For the first time in God knows how long, the Rapids can pick all of Conor Casey, Omar Cummings and Colin Clark. The coach said yesterday how well some of the more fringe players had done in the team while the trio were away and that it was leading to some tough decisons to make for tonight's game. However, it is hard to believe that not all three would make the starting line-up. One player definitely on the bench tonight is new signing, Jamie Smith. The Scottish international was signed this week as the Rapids waived Terry Cooke. "Jamie will be on the bench, come what may," said the coach at training yesterday.
So, despite the full squad and the recent strong performances of some of the squad players, it looks likely to be a fairly predictable line-up, with the exception, maybe, of midfield. Cummings and Casey will surely start upfront with Pat Noonan and Facundo Diz on the bench. I would expect a back four of Ihemelu, Gibbs, Palguta and Harvey although it is hard to understand why Kimura would not start given the way he is playing. Pablo, Ballouchy, Clark and Peterson would be likely in midfield with LaBrocca coming on later. That's it. I have double booked for tonight and will unfortunately miss the game so please do send in your comments and let me know your thoughts postmatch, prematch too if you want.

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