Injuries and Hectic schedule haunt the Colorado Rapids in 2011 Major League Soccer
The defending Major League Soccer champions, Colorado Rapids, are going through tough times because of injury concerns and tight schedule. These problem are anticipated to prolong till the mid of April, as they are now preparing to take on Chicago Fire in
the United States Open Cup Qualifier on Wednesday.
The Rapids travelled back home after securing three important points with a 1-0 win over the host Chivas USA on Saturday night. However, some of the players decided to head Midwest instead of having some rest for a day or two at home. This will increase
the travelling stress before the game.
It will become tougher as the Rapids are supposed to play at home game against the DC United on Sunday afternoon. Couples of hard games are also in the pipeline and away from home against the FC Dallas and the Real Salt Lake, which will further aggravate
travelling strain and also the on-field hard-work to play these strong units.
The schedule is not allowing the Rapids to settle down and work on the issues that are of major concerns. There could be a better way of coping with the issues by taking one game at a time and forgetting about the schedule ahead.
Dusting of snow did not stop the Rapids to have some practice on Monday before taking a flight to Chicago on Tuesday. Forward, Quincy Amarikwa, who was the only goal scorer in a win against the Chivas could not have any rest. Amarikwa, alongside the other
forward, Andre Akpan is expected to play in the Chicago game. Wells Thompson and Ross LaBauex are also in the probable list of players and this will make them exhausted before the upcoming regular season games.
“There will be a sprinkling of players tonight who will involve in the Open Cup game. For the others, it will give them some time to recuperate before Sunday,” head coach Gary Smith said.
Injury is the other real problem for the Rapids, where Akpan is continuing to play with an unsettled hamstring injury and Macoumba is out of the scene for an unspecified period of time. Conor Casey is suffering from calf injury and Omar Cummings is absent
due to national duties with Jamaica. Finalizing the final starting lineup in the absence of these key players has become a dilemma for the coach. However, the Irish international, Caleb Folan, who has been recently acquired, will find a place in the starting
Despite of these uncertainties, bench strength allows Smith to take a long breath as Joseph Nane, Tyrone Marshall, Ian Joyce and Scott Palguta are capable to strengthen the midfield and back-line. Danny Earls, who has played 18 games for the Rapids in the
last MLS season, has rejoined the club after being waived last year. Encouraging thing for the Rapids is that the team is still performing well and Smith will hope them to be like this.