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Subplots abound against Chivas

April 27, 2012 | 10:09 am No comments
By Shaun Schafer

Two teams struggling in the early going with 3-4-0 records meeting for the chance to step back into the fray of the Western Conference race should be enough of a plot for the Rapids-Chivas USA showdown on Saturday.

But no, the subplots abound. Let us count the ways.

1. Possible first sighting of Conor Casey this season.

2. Who’s going to get cut to make roster space?

3. A visiting team that has been a terror on the road this season.

4. A team that just picked up a $2,500 fine for misconduct.

5. A coach who garnered a $500 fine for the same incident.

Where to begin?

Casey’s Return: The burly target forward is healthy and coach Oscar Pareja said he hopes to get some minutes from him coming off the substitute’s bench.

Paired with Omar Cummings in 2010, the duo was deadly as Casey netted 13 to Cummings’s 14. The ’11 season was a loss as Casey went out with a torn Achilles and Cummings scored only three goals.

Will ’12 be a renaissance? Cummings already has three goals playing out of position. Casey’s return can only be a plus for the team’s finishing rate.

Cutting Crew: The Rapids have a full roster of 29 players and all six international spots filled. They have signed Colombian midfielder Harrison Henao and Brazilian forward Edu in the past two weeks.

Do the math. Two people must go, and the Rapids either need to pick up two more international slots or get rid of two internationals.

Jamie Smith, a Scotsman, is safe because he is still on the Disabled List. Anthony Wallace is out with injury. Otherwise, everyone who is not in the starting 11 has to be feeling some insecurity. Who will be making a final appearance in burgundy?

Road Warriors: Chivas USA has three wins in seven matches. All three have come on the road.

The Rapids are coming off a 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy at home, making this a tricky test to forecast.

Union Blows: Philadelphia Union finished two men down and still got a 1-0 win against Chivas last week. The MLS handed out penalties and fines for members of both squads involved in a fracas that marred the match.

What sort of mindset will Chivas bring in the first game after such a debacle.

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