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Slumping Rapids face ‘Quakes

August 7, 2010 | 4:10 pm No comments
By Shaun Schafer

Version two of “How do you score without Conor Casey?” takes the field Saturday night as the Colorado Rapids face the San Jose Earthquakes.

Casey, the leading scorer for an otherwise anemic attack, is expected to miss his second game since going out with a head injury late in a 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders on July 25. Casey was out of action during last Saturday’s 1-1 tie at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park against F.C. Dallas.

Now the Rapids, 6-5-6 (24 points), face the ‘Quakes, 6-5-5 (23 points), with each team scrambling for a playoff spot.

Earlier: This is the second and final meeting between the two teams this season. In the tight confines of San Jose, the Rapids fell 1-0 on May 1 to a 33rd minute laser from Chris Wondolowski.

Swoon: The Rapids went 0-2-3 during the month of July. The team has not won since beating Columbus Crew 1-0 on June 5. The game featured a great headed goal from defender Drew Moor off a free kick from midfielder Jamie Smith.

Likely Look: The Rapids started last week in a 4-5-1 with Omar Cummings as the lone striker. As the game wore on, the insertion of substitutes led to a change in shape in the final minutes as Quincy Amarikwa came on as a second forward and Carlos Lopez made a late appearance in midfield. Neither provided the winning score, but the team looked more dangerous in a 4-4-2.

Coach Gary Smith is unlikely to change shape to start, but it will be interesting to see if he calls on the 4-4-2 for a late burst.

Probable Starters: Expect to see Cummings soloing up top with Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Mehdi Ballouchy, Jamie Smith and Colin Clark in the middle. Matt Pickens will be in the goal, with Kosuke Kimura, Julien Buadet, Moor and Marvell Wynne across the back.

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