The Colorado Rapids take on Seattle Sounders tonight in a match-up that will let supporters and MLS know exactly where the Rapids are in terms of their development as a squad. Come away with a win or a hard fought draw, then people will start taking this club seriously. Get blown out by Seattle, and it shows that the Rapids may not have progressed as much as the team thinks it has.
The goal for the Rapids: play well and grab a result.
What To Watch For:
1) The Real Rapids: I am not sure that anyone truly knows what this team is made of and while the FC Dallas result was fantastic, there is a fair amount of skeptical folks out there who are not on the Rapids bandwagon. Is the team from last week the real Rapids or is it the team that struggled for 18 games in getting a win? Seattle provides the ultimate test.
2) Gaby Time?: Gabriel Torres has shown at times that he can score goals but the truth is that he has not been the impact player the Rapids were expecting when they bought him in 2013. There have been flashes, and last match was a good sign for him, but he needs to consistently find the back of the net or he could find himself on the outside looking in.
3) The Revolving Back Four: Eight different players have lined up in back for the Rapids this year and that flexibility has led to four clean sheets and just one goal from open play. Against the Sounders the Rapids defense will need to be at their best to keep a clean sheet as Seattle offers the most potent strike partnership in the league.
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Jeff Hosking, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
Fourth Official: Younes Marrakchi
Injuries: Colorado--OUT: Marc Burch, Sam Cronin. LISTED ON REPORT: Axel Sjoberg, Carlos Alvarez. Seattle--QUESTIONABLE: Damion Lowe. LISTED ON REPORT: Clint Dempsey
How To Watch
Match Date/Time: Saturday, April 18 at 7PM MDT
Venue: Dick's Sporting Goods Park--Commerce City, Colorado
Television: Altitude TV (Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa)
OnLine: MLS Live
Predicted Starting XI
The only issue with the Starting XI comes along the back line with some injuries to Burch and Sjoberg. And with the depth that the Rapids have in the back there is not a reason to risk anyone. I have Shane O'Neill penciled in right now at center back with Drew Moor, but I could see Bobby Burling start back there for O'Neill. Assuming a 4-2-3-1:
Clint Irwin, Michael Harrington, Moor, O'Neill, James Riley, Lucas Pittinari, Marcelo Sarvas, Juan Ramirez, Dillon Powers, Torres, Dominique Badji
This will serve as your official Burgundy Wave game thread for this important Western Conference clash and check back later for our recap and man of the match voting.