The free-kick goals in San Jose and then at home against the Revolution, in my opinion, did not need to happen. So I asked Clint Irwin how he should position his players if the opposing team puts someone on the goalie-side end of the wall.

“Try to put someone behind him,” Irwin explained. “They’re either looking for him to open up or screen you a little bit. Stand behind so if he does open up, you have an extension of the wall.”

As of Thursday, Arena’s vest bulged with unknown cards. Keane? Rogers? Who would he start up front?

“Whoever they put out there,” Irwin said. “They’re a really good team. We played them earlier this season with their young guys [Zardes, Villarreal, and McBean] up top and they gave us a lot of trouble. But we’re a different team now.”

“If he [Robbie Keane] is on the field, we have to be constantly aware of where here is around the box,” Irwin said.

Regarding a Keane of their own for the Rapids, Irwin said, “We’re trying to spread the ball around.”