The Colorado Rapids travel to Texas to take on Houston Dynamo tonight for the fourth and final time in 2015. So far the Rapids have had some success agains the Dynamo carrying a 1-0-1 record in MLS play with a loss in the US Open Cup in June. The Rapids are coming off a 3-1 beat down at Toronto last Saturday and with just five games left in the season the Burgundy Boys will be looking to finish strong.
The Goal for the Rapids: Play attractive soccer, and you know, win
What to Watch For
1) Five Left, Five Chances: The Rapids are down to their final five games with few chances for victories in those final five. The game against Houston is a chance to grab all three points, but they will need to find a way to win a game in a very difficult place to play.
2) To Do That Involves Scoring: The Rapids have not scored two or more goals in a match in almost a month and have only done it twice since July 11. The idea that the Rapids are going to go into Houston and win a game by scoring just one goal seems unlikely, so the Burgundy Boys will need to find a gear that has been missing the bulk of the season.
3) But Also The Defense: I wrote earlier this week that the defense has actually gotten worse since the transfer deadline with the addition of Maynor Figueroa and Sean St. Ledger. And the Rapids are more than likely going to need to soak up a ton of pressure and try and score on the counter to get any kind of result in this one. It has not been entirely successful, but perhaps this is the match where the fortunes change.
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Jeffery Muschik and Jason White
Fourth Official: Marcos Deoliveira
Injuries: Colorado--OUT: Kevin Doyle, Axel Sjoberg, Dominique Badji, Michael Harrington. QUESTIONABLE: Sean St. Ledger. Houston--OUT: Jermaine Taylor. LISTED ON REPORT: DaMarcus Beasley, Alex, Kofi Sarkodie, Luis Garrido.
Suspensions: Colorado--NONE. Houston--Boniek Garcia
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Saturday, September 26 at 6:30 PM MDT
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium--Houston, Texas
TV Information: Altitude Sports (Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa)
Radio Information: 1340 AM (English Language Broadcast) 1650 AM (Spanish Language Broadcast)
Weather at Kickoff: 83 degrees, 55% humidity and partly cloudy
OnLine: MLS Live (Blackouts Apply)
Predicted Starting XI
I have to think that the Rapids will line up in the 4-2-3-1 for this match and with injuries to Doyle, St. Ledger and Sjoberg, things could get interesting for the Burgundy Boys. Here is my best guess at a Starting XI:
Clint Irwin, Maynor Figueroa, Jared Watts, Bobby Burling, Drew Moor, Sam Cronin, Lucas Pittinari, Dillon Serna, Dillon Powers, Gabriel Torres, Luis Solignac.
This will serve as your official Burgundy Wave game thread for this one! Check back for commentary, opinion, analysis and more.