Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quickie Dynamo-Revs preview and other thoughts

The vocation is taking a toll on my avocation this week, as work has been time-consuming so have had little opportunity to post (ain't that the way?). But here's a quick series of takes on today's festivities.

Heading over to Robinson tonight to see Dynamo host the Revs. ESPN is pushing the game back to 8:25 central time tonight, instead of our customary 7:30 sweat-filled swampy beat down. Perhaps it takes a conspiracy theorist to suggest that Hartford's own Worldwide Sports Leader is assisting the Nor'easterners, but still, 8:30 p.m. when it's still in the mid-80s outside with about 356-percent humidityis enough to sap the will out of most people (OK already! I'll talk, just please crank the AC. PLEASE!!!!!).

Jeff Carlisle over at ESPN (them again!) has a nice rundown on tonight's game (read it here). Of course, this is the first thing to catch the eye from Jeff:

3. Missing internationals
World Cup qualifying is in full swing in many parts of the globe, and both New England and Houston will be missing important performers on Thursday as a result. New England is without forward Kenny Mansally, as well as midfielders Khano Smith and Shalrie Joseph, who will represent The Gambia, Bermuda and Grenada, respectively. For Houston, goalkeeper Pat Onstad and attacker Dwayne De Rosario will be away with the Canadian national team, while forward Brian Ching is set to join up with the U.S. ahead of this weekend's qualifier with Barbados.

Shalrie Joseph is the player on New England I fear the most as I continue to believe that he is the best midfielder in the league. So under normal circumstances, I'd be celebrating his absence. However, with DDR, the Flyin' Hawaiian and Super Canuck all gone on duty, that means Dynamo is missing the men who have scored their last five goals and nine of the last 11. That. Is. Huge. Not only that, with Onstad away, Tony Caig is back in goal. Now I'm not going to jump on the Bash Caig bandwagon that seems to have lost steam after he turned in a clean sheet against NYRB two weeks ago. He HAS been playing better, there's no doubt about that, but then again he hasn't been seeing the New England Revolution, for my money the best team in the league all season. So Eddie Robinson's return from suspension couldn't come at a better time.

Still, what will the line-up be without Ching and DeRo up top? Bernardo Fallas is generating some discussion along these lines on his blog, and comes up with the following four possible combos (sorry for the extended block):

---------------The Keg----------------


---------------The Keg----------------

Or even:

---------------The Keg---------------

The latter one is highly unlikely as it prevents Kinnear the flexibility of pushing a defender (Mulrooney) to midfield in a switch to a 3-5-2.

The problem with the first one is Kinnear appears to still be holding out on Caraccio, whom you would think would be the logical choice.

The same goes for the second, although it would allow Holden at attacking mid.

Still the first offering would be my lineup to start the night.

However, Kinnear may have other ideas. He has been careful not to disclose his lineups during practice lately. It used to be that players with orange bibs would have a lock to start at designated positions played during intra-squad scrimmages.

That hasn't been the case lately.

So, if he wanted to get creative tonight and stick to a 4-4-2, Kinnear could go with something like this:

---------------The Keg--------------

I think Bernardo is right that Kinnear won't go with Caraccio up top for whatever reason. Apparently, the Argentine is falling out of favor ala Paul Dalglish a year ago. So I think Kinnear will do this:


SUBS: Waibel, Cameron, Caraccio

Ianni should get the start because there's no way Waibel can match up with the speed of Dube and Nyassi. Mullan, despite his almost total lack of finishing prowess, has been able to break down defenses and might be able to create chances for Holden to slide up and in. Davis' return will be a welcome one because if there's one thing the Orange need, it's his service. First off the bench should be Geoff Cameron, followed by Caraccio if the game is scoreless or we're down. If we're up late, then Waibelho comes on to help nail it down and pack the back.

What do you think?

In any event, it should be a fun night. Look for Mister3d and I on the El Batallon side of the field but on the sideline.


And here's a great Extra Time from over at with an interview with Richard Mulrooney. Nice.

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