Given very poor planning on my part, I will again miss the Rapids game this weekend. Two games in a row, very poor form. So, I won't be posting a match report as the chances of me both finding a tv in Philadelphia that may actually show it and be on the good side of my significant other are slim to none. So, I will just post a few thoughts following training today.
Health issues for some players are not all that great. Conor Casey is still struggling with his post All Stars groin strain. Oh how happy is Gary Smith on that one when the big fella was out for so long in South Africa and then promptly goes lame on his return from the Everton game. Pablo Mastroeni is also a slight doubt as he took a knock in training though the captain assured me he will be fine to play. Cory Gibbs only returned to training today after some calf problems. My guess is that least two of those big three will play this weekend.
Ugo Ihemelu, as frustrated as anybody at the speed of MLS refereeing decisions involving ejections, will be out after his red card against Columbus. This will surely allow recent matchwinner, Kosuke Kimura, to get the start he so richly deserves. I would also expect newcomer, Jamie Smith, to possibly start this time around which would likely see Jacob Peterson on the bench. There are some concerns about Colin Clark's form given it will clearly take him some time to get into the swing of things after his lengthy stay with the US national team where he was out of favor with the coaching staff and lost a lot of valuable playing time. He will surely start, though, so there should be some entertainment from the wings. It would be nice to see such service going to Casey and Omar Cummings as those two have barely played together in recent weeks/months. We'll have to see if the extent of Conor's injury will allow that. The game against Chivas kicks off at 7.30pm Saturday. Please do check out my preview of the game on www.mlsnet.com tomorrow.