The weather may be getting poor for us here in the Centennial State, but things are looking great in Tucson as the Colorado Rapids take on FC Tucson in their final Round Robin match in the Desert Diamond Cup. So far in this tournament the Rapids are 0-0-2 with a 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City and a 1-1 result against New England Revolution.
The match kicks off at 5:30 PM Mountain Time and will be live streamed on www.coloradorapids.com and www.mlssoccer.com.
When thinking about this final match, what should we be looking for from the Rapids:
The Goalkeeper Battle: So far Clint Irwin and Zac MacMath have played 90 minutes in the two prior matches. I would think that John Berner would get the call here and go 90. This could be Berner's last shot at staking claim to the starting gig as both MacMath and Irwin played well. I have to think that whomever starts on Saturday for the Rapids will probably be the starter going into the season opener against Philadelphia Union on March 7.
The Back Line: There have been some good moments for the back four this pre-season and it has seen a combination of Axel Sjoberg, Michael Harrington, Jared Watts, Shane O'Neill, Marlon Hairston, Bobby Burling, Marc Burch, Wes Knight and James Riley. Both Knight and Riley are trialling with the Rapids so I would think they would get a fair amount of time tonight to see if they can earn a spot. But against a team like FC Tucson, I would like to see a clean sheet regardless of who is playing.
Goals, Goals, Goals: There has been some good news on that front as the Rapids have scored goals (two from Gabriel Torres and one from Dominique Badji) but I want to see more. There has been the sloppiness that you would expect from a team in pre-season, but I would like to see some nice build up play and the Rapids to convert the chances they are presented with. I know that Deshorn Brown has battled injuries, but I would like to see him and Caleb Calvert get some time to see if they can get on the scoreboard.