Friday, July 16, 2010

Road Trip Continues

The Wizards conclude their busy week with a game tomorrow night in Colorado against the Rapids. The Rapids offense has struggled a little bit, especially since the World Cup break. Their potent strike force last season of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings haven't been having the season they had last year. Their defense though has been one of the better defense in the league, anchored by Matt Pickens in goal, and two very good holding midfielders in front of their back four in Pablo Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz. The Wizards offense will have trouble breaking through against this team.

The Wizards do come into the game on a bit of a high after a good win in Columbus on Wednesday night. This will also be the team's last league game for two weeks due to the Manchester United game next weekend. And while I expect starters in that game, they shouldn't be playing the full 90 I don't think. The big question for the game tomorrow night is what does Peter Vermes do? Does he stick with the same lineup that got him 3 points on Wednesday and run the risk of some tired legs early? Or does he switch it up, perhaps re-inserting Josh Wolff and Jack Jewsbury into the lineup since they didn't play on Wednesday? I have a feeling we'll see at least one of them back in the starting lineup to go against the Rapids as I think resting them on Wednesday was a tactical decision by Vermes. My hope is that it's Jewsbury as Teal Bunbury impressed me enough to keep his starting spot over Wolff. Another option is to plug Graham Zusi into the starting lineup again.

Harrington - Thomas - Conrad - Espinoza
Jewsbury - Auvray - Arnaud
Kamara - Bunbury - Smith

Key Match Up - Ryan Smith vs Kosuke Kimura/Marvell Wynne. Smith by far had the better of this match up in the game in CAB earlier this season. He beat Kimura multiple times down the left side. Since than the league has learned the "Hack Smith" game plan and he hasn't been able to be impressive, but going up against Kimura again could be interesting. Depending on lineups though, Wynne could be the one on the right for Colorado, which would be another interesting match up for Smith.

PREDICTION - I'm trying not to let the Columbus game cloud my vision on this team. While it was a very nice result, this team still has struggled lately and they're going up against another good defensive team tomorrow in Colorado. Another win on the road would certainly help this team begin to pull itself out of the hole it put itself in in the beginning of the season, but I have a hard time seeing the Wizards being able to break down the Colorado defense. Alternatively I think the shutout against Columbus has given the defense back some confidence that they lost in the previous few games due to mental errors. Right now in my mind this has all the ear marks of a dreary, drab, 0-0 draw.

KC - 0
CO - 0

1 comment:

Ky said...

I have seen some comments about 'resting' Wolff and Jewsbury as being the reason Vermes had them sit out. I am not saying I disagree, but I would hope it is for another reason; lack of productivity. I think players that need rest would have been the few injury prone and plagued. Wolff has done nothing all season and Jewsbury has been a part of a lack luster defense. I hope that neither are played against Colorado and come off the bench for the rest of the season.