The Colorado Rapids will be looking to move up the table (they could climb out of the cellar with a win) when the taking on Sporting Kansas City tonight at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. For the Rapids they have a chance to make six wins out of their last nine and Sporting will be looking to erase a brutal week that saw them throttled at home.
The Goal for the Rapids: Win again.
What to Watch For:
1) Formations: The Rapids had switched to a 4-3-3 that had brought them three wins in July followed by three straight losses in August. And now they have won two in a row with the last win coming with a formation switch back to the preferred 4-2-3-1. This formation works if, and only if, the Rapids have a true #9 in their and I believe the do with Kevin Doyle.
2) But About Formations: But is it that simple? The Rapids still struggled with chance generation against Houston Dynamo and I wonder if the 4-2-3-1 is their best option. I would still like to seem run three up top, but because head coach Pablo Mastroeni feels the pathological need to run two defensive midfielders, the 4-2-3-1 is probably best for him.
3) The Moment: I have heard a whole lot from the team about must wins or seizing the moment. And in this current run of form (5W-3L) they have only beaten one team at full strength. To defeat a full strength SKC team would be massive for their confidence and could, legitimately, give their playoff push some real legs. I have been largely skeptical of this run because they have not defeated a good team that was healthy and full strength. Prove me wrong Colorado Rapids.
Referee: Jorge Gonazlez
Assistant Referee: Greg Barkey and Danny Thornberry
Fourth Official: Ricardo Salazar
Injuries: Colorado--OUT: Luis Solignac and Jared Watts. LISTED ON REPORT: Lucas Pittinari, James Riley and Joseph Greenspan. Kansas City--OUT: Ike Opara, Roger Espinoza, Soni Mustivar, and Amobi Okugo. QUESTIONABLE: Graham Zusi and Bernardo Anor. LISTED ON REPORT: Jalil Anibaba
Suspensions: Colorado--Bobby Burling. Kansas City--NONE.
How to Watch:
Match Date/Time: Saturday, August 29 at 7:00 PM MDT
Venue: Dick's Sporting Goods Park--Commerce City, Colorado
Match Tickets: (303) 825-GOAL. www.coloradorapids.com
TV Information: Altitude Sports (Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa)
OnLine: MLS Live (Blackouts apply)
Radio Information: 1340 AM (English Language Broadcast) and 1650 AM (Spanish Language Broadcast)
Weather at Kickoff: 83 degrees and clear
Predicted Starting XI:
The Rapids need this game and sitting back and absorbing the Sporting defense for 90 minutes is not going to get it done. Here is my best guess at a lineup for tonight:
Clint Irwin, Maynor Figueroa, Sean St. Ledger, Axel Sjoberg, Drew Moor, Nick LaBrocca, Sam Cronin, Dillon Serna, Gabriel Torres, Vicente Sanchez, Kevin Doyle
This will serve as your official Burgundy Wave game thread for this Western Conference Matchup. Check back for commentary, analysis, opinion and more!