DC United v Colorado Rapids (05-15-2010) Match Preview
The Bulldogs Truth on What SHALL be in the upcoming Fixture Between Colorado and DC
Benjamin Kowalsky
May 14th 2010

So where do the Rapids go from here?

Between two disappointing defeats in a row and a highly questionable (depending on whom you ask) World Cup 2010 snub, it seems like dark days are on the Rapids. With DC United, this is the chance the Rapids have to either overcome the growing shadow or...well, not.

There is no question, DC is a team that the Rapids should be able to beat. History or not, DC has been dropping points left and right, and the only thing I have to give them props for is for exposing the fleshy underbelly of the Kansas City Wizards. I wasnt to thrilled with the Wizards, to be honest. I know a lot of Football blogs were giving them a lot of credit. And make no mistake, I think theyre a dangerous team with some excellent players, but I figured it was just a matter of time before theyd slip up and wed see what was really up.

But this isnt about them. Its about us. Even so, I cant help but see some parallels here.

Galaxy was a huge test for Colorado. We got an A for effort but we just got outclassed. The Galaxy are on fire and there is no sign that they are going to stop. However, in MLS, the team with the most points does not always bring home the Cup. Can you hear me Columbus? The take away for us from that game was that our previously fabulous finishing has somehow left us, and that needed to be addressed.

DC United need to be beaten, and they need to be beaten pretty severely in order for the Rapids to get any kind of credit back on their account. We have to beat them and look good while doing it. Which has kind of been my mantra for this season: "Beat other teams and look good while doing it".

So how is Colorado going to beat them?

Glad you asked.

I have no doubt that we will probably dominate possession this game, but possession only counts for so much if you cant convert your chances. DC Uniteds defense is not so great, so well see if we can put something together against them. They will be coming out fairly confident this time around, and looking to turn things around in front of their home fans at RFK, which is going to make them just a tad more dangerous.

The only thing that troubles me is...well, that KC game was ugly. It was seriously ugly. DC and KC were just playing some really ugly football and getting into some terrible spats on the pitch. Now, this might be just a KC thing (I remember saying a similar thing when they played the Rapids), but a dirty match usually means there will be flared tempers which usually means someone is going to see Red. Teams that are in the position of DC United tend to want to bring that out in other teams, hopefully bringing the other team down to 10 men.

However, if DC United chooses to be a bit more physical, they wont find much success against a powerhouse like Colorado. Theres simply no contest. When it comes to having real bruisers in your line-up: we simply have more. Casey, Larentowicz, and Baudet are prime examples of this "hardman" mentality. The only trouble will be if our guys can stay cool against a possibly very hostile situation on the pitch. Pablo Mastroeni is going to have to really control the emotions, and keep the guys focused and clinical.

The X-Factor is Casey. Is Conor Casey going to step up after his snub? Is he going to prove Bob Bradley (and a bunch of other nay-sayers) wrong? Or is he going to prove that they were right to keep him out of the 30 in South Africa? Hes due for a consistent return to form. And once that happens, the Rapids goal machine is complete.

About line ups: I dont know if Kos is back to health or if he is still working his way back to fitness. So Im making my line up predictions based on the assumption that hes still working his way back.

After last week, changing Wynne out to wing and Drew back to Center Back was a good decision against LA. When Wynne was unleashed on the LA midfield, he cut through them like they were nothing. He and Danny would be a great spark to get the offensive wing play going. The Beast is getting the start in the Center after an astounding performance containing Edson Buddle (which I said could not be done).

Wells, to me, seems to be getting the bench. After his lack-luster showing against Galaxy I cant think hes going to get the start unless hes really been impressing in practice. Colin gets the start after showing some good offensive spark against Galaxy where Wells couldnt produce.

Pickens

Beast Moor

Wynne Danny Boy

Jeff Pablo

Omar Colin

Casey

One final bit of news, and I was saving this for last: The Rapids will be short one player that has contributed so much to both the dressing room and to the play on the pitch.

Its unknown whether or not this player is merely on a short leave, or if this is a more prolonged change. Gary Smith refused to comment any more than telling Class VIs Craig de Aragon the news that the split had happened.

Matt Pickens has shaved his beard.

I, on behalf of the entire Bulldog Supporters Group, want to say that we stand with the Colorado Rapids through this difficult time as we try to pick up the peices of our shattered lives. During its time with the Rapids, Matt Pickens beard gained many fans in the Dressing Room, even earning the nickname "Travis". (as originally reported by Class VIs Donna Feldman here.

If you want to hear it confirmed, you can listen to Craigs interview with Gary Smith right here.

Travis, no matter where you go. Our hearts go with you.

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