The Colorado Rapids return home to Dick's Sporting Goods Park to play D.C. United in a critical match for both teams as the 2015 season is nearing its end. The Rapids had their three game winning streak snapped on Wednesday in a disappointing 2-0 loss in Vancouver and D.C. United has loss three in a row but needs a win in Colorado to keep pace in the East.
The Goal for Colorado: Erase the memory of a drab defeat in Vancouver and win at home.
What to Watch For
1) One Step Forward: The Rapids are a club that seems to be making progress (at times) but then regress the next week. That was certainly the case in Vancouver as the Rapids really did not make any attacking threat and somehow Pablo managed to blame the players.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Mastroeni: It’s all about being brave with the ball and not reckless with it...caring for it more, passing it to your teammate <a href="https://twitter.com/rapidsrabbi">@rapidsrabbi</a></p>— Marco Cummings (@Marco_Cummings) <a href="https://twitter.com/Marco_Cummings/status/641833646555447296">September 10, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Hey, Pablo: how about you actually start a lineup that has the ability to win a match. Let's start with that before blaming the players.
2) The Lineup: The most important thing this match is finding the right lineup that will demonstrate attacking intent, but without sacrificing your defensive strength. They cannot start 9 defenders and have any real shot in this one.
3) Playoffs: The Rapids flickering hopes at a playoff berth will require three points tonight. They are eight points from the Red Line with just seven games left. They probably need to win five of those seven to have any shot at it, so tonight is critical.
Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Claudiu Badea and Andrew Bigelow
Fourth Official: Mark Kadlecik
Injuries: Colorado--OUT: Luis Solignac, Dominique Badji and Axel Sjoberg. D.C. United--OUT: Eddie Johnson, Chis Korb, Davy Arnaud. LISTED ON REPORT: Jared Jeffrey and Fabian Espindola
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Saturday, September 12 at 7:00 PM MDT
Venue: Dick's Sporting Goods Park--Commerce City, Colorado
Tickets: (303) 825-GOAL or coloradorapids.com
Supporters Information: Stout Street Bulldogs
TV Information: Altitude Sports (Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa)
Radio Information: 1340 AM (English Language Broadcast) and 1650 AM (Spanish Language Broadcast)
OnLine Information: MLS Live (Blackouts Apply)
Weather at Kickoff: 77 degrees and clear skies
Predicted Starting XI
When I think about the Starting XI I have two thoughts: what I would want to see run out there and what I think Pablo Mastroeni will do. These are very, very different ideas:
The Pablo XI (4-2-3-1)--
Clint Irwin, Maynor Figueroa, Sean St. Ledger, Bobby Burling, Drew Moor, Sam Cronin, Lucas Pittinari, Dillon Serna, Marcelo Sarvas, Vicente Sanchez, Kevin Doyle
My Starting XI (4-1-3-2)--
Clint Irwin, Maynor Figueroa, Sean St. Ledger, Drew Moor, Marlon Hairston, Sam Cronin, Dillon Serna, Dillon Powers, Vicente Sanchez, Kevin Doyle, Gabriel Torres
I know I only went with one D-Mid and I have, like a million young guys out there, but why not get that a shot. Just throwing it out there. The season is lost....give it a shot.
This will serve as your official Burgundy Wave Game Thread for this match. Check back for commentary, opinion and more.