Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rapids, Houston and Catching Up

The Rapids will have US Mens National Team midfield Pablo Mastroeni back tonight when they take on the Houston Dynamo tonight. Is Pablo healthy and ready to start? The team hasn't said he's not despite him coming off early in the USMNT World Cup Qualifier against Barbados last weekend with, well, what appeared to be a sore butt.

View From The Couch has a suggested lineup for tonight's match :
GK :Burpo
D :Ihemelu - Erpen - Harvey
Mid :Pablo/DiRaimondo - LaBrocca
Mid :Cooke - C.Gomez - Clark
F : McManus - Casey

I doubt we'll be seeing Terry Cooke starting tonight. As We Want Rapidman points out, Fernando Clavijo wants to see Cooke playing both sides of the ball. Clavijo doesn't feel that Terry Cooke and Christan Gomez can be on the pitch at the same time. They're both defensive liabilities. Fernando feels the team can afford the hit from either one but not both at the same time. This may provide us with more insight into the experiment of Christian Gomez as a second forward. Injuries to strikers may have been the impetus behind the experiment. But in pushing Gomez forward, something Christian was infamous for doing on his own during his DC United days, Clavijo may have been hoping to get around that issue. Gomez up top wasn't working and now Cooke's riding the pine.

FC Rocky, among others, carried the news that John Murphy is no longer an assistant coach for the Rapids. Word on the street is that Murphy and Clavijo's relationship was deteriorating. A change was needed so Murphy's assistant coaching duties were ended. He will focus on his duties as director of play development. My take? If their relationship wasn't good the change was needed. It's common for MLS teams to only have a coach and an assistant coach. The Rapids brought in a new assistant coach before 2008, Gary Smith. The question here is if this a way for the Rapids Front Office to pull Murphy out of the picture so he doesn't need to be axed when they move to replace head coach Fernando Clavijo.

In case you didn't catch all the news the last few days :
ex-Rapid David Kramer Named As Goalkeeping Coach
Rapids drop Murphy as Asst. Coach
Brian Forbes at the Denver Post on Omar Cummings
Colorado Dads Interviews Coach Fernando Clavijo About Being A Dad
American Soccer News On The Upcoming Houston Game & Mike Petke's Health

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