Almost every week we are able to trade three questions with the corresponding blogger on SBNation to the team we are playing that week. This time UZ from Burgundy Wave and I traded questions in advance of Friday night's game. His answers provide a lot of insight into what we'll see from Colorado this weekend, enjoy.
1. What has been the most surprising part of Colorado's 3 game winning streak to open the season?
The coming out party that has been the 2011 Jamie Smith. Last year I was one of Smith's biggest detractors with the way that he played so hot and cold week by week. His defending was also pretty bad all season, with secondary man Wells Thompson looking like a better option by the time the season was winding down. His one goal and eight assists weren't exactly barn-burning either. This season he has two goals already along with defense so improved that I'm not sure if that's actually the same guy that we were seeing last year. The guy has played with Celtic FC in Scotland before so you know he had the talent to be a great player but seeing him break out so quickly into the season is incredibly reassuring for the Rapids trophy chances..
2. Do you worry that the short week could have a negative effect on Colorado and what players could possibly miss the game through injury?
Conor Casey is out for sure, his hamstring has been bothering him all season. Omar Cummings might be a substitute since he has now played 2.5 games in the last week with two international matches and the second half of the DC United match. A Caleb Folan/Quincy Amarikwa starting striker duo wouldn't be surprising. Other than that, the fairly short week shouldn't be too tough on the boys especially since they won't be playing at altitude this week. The older Brian Mullan might need to be replaced - you saw how winded he looked after the long season in the MLS Cup final - but the Rapids have a good replacement for him in Sanna Nyassi.
3. Talk about the kind of style Colorado is going to want to play on Friday and who they will look to go through in the attack
Colorado's style is a mixed bag depending on how their opponent is playing. They're a very versatile team that is strong in just about every area so we can see a lot of different players moving around the pitch and taking the ball depending on where the defense is strongest against them. Gary Smith's formation is classic English, a strict straight 4-4-2 with two holders in the middle and a wide defense ready to support up the wings. Their attack usually revolves around slanted runs into the box by Omar Cummings or Conor Casey/Caleb Folan with Kosuke Kimura, Anthony Wallace or Jamie Smith providing the long balls into the box for either Cummings to run with or whoever the target forward is to flick on into the net. Recently we've seen a lot of Sanna Nyassi and Smith running into the box as well to draw the defense away from the strikers with the two holders standing back to keep mistakes in the box from turning into counter attacks. Defensively they depend on Jeff Larentowicz and Pablo Mastroeni to steal the ball away in the deep defensive midfield and distribute to the wingers.