It is finally here! The Colorado Rapids open their 2015 season at home taking on New York City FC. This is a big game for the Burgundy Boys as they are going for their first win of this campaign and also looking to stop a 15 game unbeaten run (0-12-3) dating back to July 2014.
For the Rapids, the goal is a simple: get all three points and send the home fans home happy.
What To Watch:
The Offense: The Rapids were dreadful against Philadelphia Union generating a meager two shots (none on goal). There were some signs in the pre-season that the offense was going to come to life, but instead the Rapids put up the proverbial goose egg in Match One.
The Defense: James Riley and Bobby Burling are out for the Rapids (due to suspension) and as such the Rapids will be forced into their first change along the back line in 2015. I have to think that Axel Sjoberg and Shane O'Neill will be in the middle complemented by Michael Harrington and Marc Burch on the outsides.
The Coaching Acumen: It still feels like he is trying to figure out this coaching thing, but it is time for Pablo Mastroeni to quit with the flowery anecdotes and coach the damn team. Put players in the right positions and start the strongest XI that this team has. A loss to NYCFC would be devastating to the supporters who want Mastroeni to be successful, but so far are skeptical as to whether or not he knows what he is doing.
Center: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Johnson, Jason White
Fourth Official: Younes Marrakchi
Suspended: COL--Riley and Burling. NY: None
Injuries: COL--Drew Moor (OUT), Marlon Hairston (OUT), Juan Ramirez (QUESTIONABLE), Marcelo Sarvas (QUESTIONABLE). NY--George John (OUT)
How To Watch:
Match date/time: Saturday, March 21 at 2PM MDT
Venue: Dick's Sporting Goods Park--Commerce City, Colorado
TV: Altitude TV (Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa)
Online: MLS Live
Best Guess At A Starting XI:
I am guessing that the 4-2-3-1 will be run out there again and that Mastroeni will use his head in picking his Starting XI rather than his heart. I think the lineup below gives the best chance of success, but with Pablo, you never know what he will put out there in the midfield and the rest of the pitch. Ramirez is listed as questionable, but word is that he practiced all week, so it would to be a shock if he is out there today.
4-2-3-1: Clint Irwin, Burch, Sjoberg, O'Neill, Harrington, Sam Cronin, Lucas Pittinari, Vicente Sanchez, Dillon Powers, Dillon Serna , Gabriel Torres
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