Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Colorado Rapids rate edge over Crew
by Ridge Mahoney, October 28th, 2010 12:36AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  colorado rapids, columbus crew, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] The first of the four MLS conference semifinal series begins Thursday (9 p.m., ESPN2/Deportes) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park with Colorado (12-8-10) hosting 2008 MLS Cup winner Columbus (14-8-8). Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney analyzes the matchup, position-by-position ...

GOALKEEPING. The Crew’s Andy Gruenebaum has played only 24 games in his five MLS seasons and none in the playoffs. He’s played 10 matches this season in the Concacaf Champions League and U.S. Open Cup. Rapids’ goalie Matt Pickens compiled a 1.10 goals-allowed average-- the identical figure registered by Will Hesmer before he suffered a fractured shoulder in the final minutes of the season finale -- and played five games in the 2006 and 2007 playoffs for Chicago before coming to Colorado.
Edge: Colorado.

DEFENSE. Chad Marshall is one of the league’s best, but the rest of the Crew back four has been shuffled around because of injuries and fatigue induced by a crushing schedule. Pairing Drew Moor with Marvell Wynne in the middle and trading for left back Anthony Wallace has resulted in the Rapids’ shaving six goals off their goals-allowed total from last year; those 32 goals are two fewer than the 34 conceded by Columbus.
Edge: Columbus.

MIDFIELD. An up-and-down season for Robbie Rogers and the streakiness of Emmanuel Ekpo give the Crew a unpredictable dynamic on the flanks. Anchor Brian Carroll could be partnered in the middle with Eddie Gaven (3 goals, 5 assists), who has played on the right most of the season. The central tandem of Jeff Larentowicz and Pablo Mastroeni has quietly matured into one of the league’s best, and there’s an array of options out wide.
Edge: Colorado.

FORWARDS. To the fearsome duo of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings (27 goals combined) the Rapids have added the strong and fast Macoumba Kandji, who can also played wide in midfield. The statistics dipped this season for Guillermo Barros Schelotto (9 goals, 8 assists) and forwards Steven Lenhart (six goals) and Emilio Renteria (five goals) have been solid if not spectacular.
Edge: Colorado.

COACHING. Crew coach Robert Warzycha absorbed a lot of criticism last October for benching Schelotto and Alejandro Moreno for the first playoff game against Real Salt Lake. That was his first season as head coach; this season, the Crew managed one more point than it compiled last year while winning the Supporters’ Shield. Gary Smith, who replaced Fernando Clavijo late in the 2008 season, is coaching his first playoff team. By adding pieces during the season – Brian Mullan, Anthony Wallace and Kandji – Smith has forged continuous improvement.
Edge: Even.

FORM. The Crew beat Philadelphia, 3-1, in its season finale to break a six-game winless streak (0-3-3) in league play. It is battle-tested but also fatigued. The Rapids won five of their last 10 games, including a 3-1 defeat of the Galaxy at Home Depot Center Oct. 16.
Edge: Colorado.

PREDICTION: Both teams win a game, Colorado prevails on total goals, 3-2.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
USL: Four unbeaten teams all triumph    
The Rochester Rhinos extended their unbeaten run to six matches with a 2-0 victory against the ...
What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho    
"I think boring is 10 years without a title -- that's boring. If you support a ...
U.S. Paralympic team prepping for world championship     
Coach Stuart Sharp has named a 16-player roster for the U.S. Paralympic national team's April 29-May ...
MLS Week 8: Altidore breaks out with two golazos    
Jozy Altidore scored his first two goals since opening with two goals in his debut with ...
Video Pick: Wonderful solo golazo from Down Under     
A 28-year-old striker who plays for Australia's Adelaide United might find himself a candidate for FIFA ...
U.S. Abroad: Johnson's assist hands Bayern title    
Alejandro Bedoya scored his third goal of the season in Nantes' 1-1 tie at Toulouse, and ...
USL: Richmond and Louisville remain unbeaten    
Richmond and Louisville City both remained unbeaten with shutout wins on Saturday. The Kickers defeated FC ...
NWSL: Press makes it four goals in two games    
Abby Wambach is sitting out the season. Alex Morgan has yet to play as she rests ...
NASL: Sellouts and Tsiskaridze bomb highlight weekend play    
There were sellouts at Indy Eleven (10,524), Minnesota United (9,233) and Atlanta (5,511) for a trio ...
MLS Week 8: Fireworks break out on Saturday    
MLS went into Saturday averaging just 2.15 goals a game, but the four games produced 20 ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives