When the Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers take the pitch Saturday in Commerce City it should be a match that both clubs will feel like they can take three points from. But for our Beloved Burgundy Boys, this match takes on even more importance. Depending on how results go earlier in the day, the Rapids could find themselves as much as eight points from a playoff spot. Although they have a game in hand on those in front of them, a loss against the Timbers would be tough to take.
So the goal for the Rapids is simple: win.
What To Watch For:
1) The Starting XI: The Rapids have a bit of a decision tonight when thinking about their starting lineup. Do you start Kevin Doyle and Luis Solignac together again? Do you start Dillon Powers? Or perhaps Juan Ramirez and Gabriel Torres? Pablo Mastroeni has some difficult decisions tonight, but these are the kinds of decisions that you would rather have than a lack of healthy bodies.
2) Up and Down Timbers: The Timbers are coming off a big home win that was preceded by two losses. It is hard to predict their form and how they will deal with coming to Colorado, but the Rapids have to be prepared to face a very strong and determined Portland club.
3) A Must Win? I am not sure the Rapids are quite at that point but anything less than a victory at home will be disappointing. They need to play a complete 90, take a more physical tone with the Timbers and bury the shots they have.
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry and Brian Poeschel
Fourth Official: Drew Fischer
Injuries: Colorado--OUT: Marcelo Sarvas and Marlon Hairston. Portland--OUT: Ben Zemanski. QUESTIONABLE: Diego Valeri
Suspensions: Portland: Diego Chara
International Call-Ups: Colorado: Shane O'Neill and Dillon Serna
How To Watch:
Match Date/Time: Saturday, May 30 at 7:00 PM MDT
Venue: Dick's Sporting Goods Park--Commerce City, Colorado
TV Information: Altitude Sports (Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa)
OnLine: MLS Live (blacked out in Colorado)
Predicted Starting XI:
Well, here is the big question: who starts for the Rapids? Torres did not have his best game in Seattle, but he is leading the club in scoring this season. Ramirez was very bright in the second half, but struggles on the defensive end at times. So who gets the nod? Here is my best guess:
Clint Irwin, Michael Harrington, Drew Moor, Axel Sjoberg, James Riley, Lucas Pittinari, Sam Cronin, Ramirez, Doyle, Torres, Solignac.
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