*Quick Note -- So it turns out today is not my last day. At the very least, I'll be going all the way through tomorrow. Obviously, I'll keep you all posted.*
Last week, Carlos de los Cobos ran out an interesting lineup for opening day. There were some surprise selections (Mike Banner) some surprising omissions (Collins John, Krzysztof Krol) and ultimately it produced a disappointing 1-0 defeat. This week, that lineup figures to change. de los Cobos won't want to have a repeat of last week's result and I'm hoping that he will switch up his starting 11 in an attempt to get a result.
Here's the lineup I would like to see de los Cobos run out Saturday afternoon against the Rapids.
GK: Andrew Dykstra
DEF: Tim Ward, C.J. Brown, Wilman Conde, Krzysztof Krol
MID: Patrick Nyarko, Logan Pause, Baggio Husidic, Marco Pappa
FWD: Brian McBride, Collins John Now, let me explain myself. First, I want to see Krol get a chance. I know that he would be very happy to see the field and while Mike Banner's performance last week wasn't horrible, he didn't do anything to really solidify a spot as the starting left back.
Secondly, I think that Brian McBride, Collins John and Patrick Nyarko should each start. McBride and John are likely shoe-ins for the starting 11 week in and week out, but Nyarko (who was clearly the Fire's best attacker against New York) needs to be out there as well. The best way to accomplish this is by throwing Nyarko -- who usually plays forward -- out on the wing. He showed that he is capable of playing there last weekend and his ability to dribble in from the outside should serve the attack well. Also, it wasn't like winger Julio Martinez -- who Nyarko would replace on the outside of the midfield -- did anything against New York that merits him receiving a second start.
Lastly, I would swap Baggio Husidic in for Peter Lowry in the center of the midfield. Though I like Lowry as a player, I was not too impressed by his play against New York. I was impressed with the play of Husidic though. I thought he played nicely after coming on in the second half of the match (his long ball that gave Patrick Nyarko a free header in the box particularly sticks out) and he did well when the Fire played at Colorado last year, assisting on one of the Fire's two goals.
However, I don't think the above is a lineup Carlos de los Cobos will actually use -- not yet anyway. Here's the starting 11 I think we'll see on Saturday:
DEF: Ward, Brown, Conde, Banner
MID: Martinez, Pause, Lowry, Pappa
FWD: McBride, John
The only change from the lineup against New York would be Collins John in for Patrick Nyarko. Needless to say, I wouldn't be this starting 11's biggest fan. They wouldn't fare much better than the team did against New York, and, against a Rapids squad that has quite a bit of talent, I don't think this starting 11 would do enough to earn a result.