Union-Rapids: Lineups and pre-match observations
- At long last, the Union have something to show in return for the trade for Jeff Parke: Ethan White gets his debut with Maurice Edu (red card) suspended and Austin Berry healthy enough only for the bench.. After a handful of injuries early in the season, White has a chance to prove his worth, and it’s a stiff test against Deshorn Brown. I suspect that White’s ability to contend with Brown’s speed (along with Jim Curtin’s preference not to move Amobi Okugo back to defense and disrupt the midfield’s burgeoning chemistry) is what makes him the choice here.
- Speaking of the midfield, Vincent Nogueira is healthy enough to make the bench, but the club has expressed a desire this week to be cautious with a groin injury that is the first of that type for Nogueira. As a result, he’s been deemed fit for the last several weeks … without actually playing. And given the job Cristian Maidana is doing in that central attacking role, there’s no need to push him.
- The loan capture of Brian Brown was confirmed around 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon. By 7, he’s on the bench in the Union 18. Seems like another body for Antoine Hoppenot, who’s 0-for-3 in making Curtin’s MLS squads, to climb over. Let’s see what the 21-year-old has got.
- The Rapids are losing two of their leading creative forces in midfielder Jose Mari (ankle) and forward Vicente Sanchez (suspended). That accentuates their dependence on the creativity of Brown up top. With the defensive abilities of Nick LaBrocca and the solidity of this backline, expect the Rapids to sit in plenty and absorb pressure, then try to launch counter attacks with Dillon Powers and long balls played into Brown. And then there's former Union No. 1 overall draft pick Danny Mwanga sitting on the bench. Interesting to see what reaction he would get.
Labels: Amobi Okugo, Austin Berry, Brian Brown, Colorado Rapids, Cristian Maidana, Danny Mwanga, Deshorn Brown, Dillon Powers, Ethan White, Jim Curtin, Maurice Edu, Philadelphia Union, Vincent Nogueira