Commerce City, Colo. – Coming off the opening night 1-0 win over Chivas USA, a few Rapids players were given an extra day to recover from the match when the team returned to training on Monday.
Colin Clark, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Conor Casey, and Omar Cummings, all starters against Chivas USA, were each indoors on Monday when the rest of the squad went through its morning workout.
“With a couple of them, it was more imposed on them to have another down day, to get them bit more rest,” said head coach Gary Smith. “Colin (Clark) and Jeff (Larentowicz) and Pablo (Mastroeni) had limited preseason, they worked extremely hard at the weekend, and I just felt that it might be more productive to give them a little bit more time to recover.”
While Clark (left ACL surgery), Larentowicz (knee scope), and Mastroeni (ankle scope) are each coming back from surgeries, Cummings and Casey are each bothered by minor injuries. For Cummings, it’s a knee sprain, and Casey a foot ailment.
On Casey, Smith said, “He’s got a sore toe, and given his exploits at the weekend, as well, it didn’t hurt to have a little bit more rest.”
Two other players who have recently been in the picture did not see playing time in the opener. Defender Julien Baudet was included among the gameday 18, though did not see action.
“ Julien Baudet, who was on the bench and healthy at the weekend, just wasn’t capable, I didn’t think, of getting through a good period of time, just purely for fatigue in the calf muscle,” said Smith of the centerback. “The calf had healed, but he hadn’t trained an awful lot and I wasn’t willing to risk him in an important game.”
Midfielder Jamie Smith, on the other hand, was not deemed fit to be included.
“Jamie Smith has got a sore hamstring, and we’re hoping that that will be much better towards this weekend,” Smith commented. “But at the moment it’s still sore. There’s nothing permanent, or long lasting there, but it’s just aggravating him at the moment, and just a bit of extra time and work on that muscle might give him the opportunity to be ready for the weekend.”
Reserve goalkeeper Ian Joyce injured his right ankle during the training session and is a doubtful for Saturday. If Joyce can’t go on the weekend, one possible replacement is goalkeeper Steward Ceus, who could be called back from his loan with the Charlotte Eagles of the United Soccer League Division 1. Another option to back up Matt Pickens is MLS pool goalkeeper Chris Sharpe, who trains regular with Colorado.
Smith remains a question mark for the weekend, while all the others are expected to be available for selection on Saturday. Midfielder Ciaran O’Brien (right hip) and forward Ross Schunk (right ACL tear) are still out while recovering from their respective injuries.