The Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City renew pleasantries tonight in Tucson, Arizona in the third match (for the Rapids) in the Desert Diamond Cup. The Rapids are 0-1-1 in the DDC after a 3-1 loss to Swope Park Rangers and a 0-0 draw with Houston Dynamo. Sporting is 0-0-2 in the Cup with a pair of draws to Columbus Crew SC and New England Revolution.
The goal for the Rapids is simple: win their first match of the DDC
What to Watch For:
1) Goals, goals, goals: Over the past twelve months the Rapids have not established themselves as a scoring juggernaut and the preseason has not been any different. They have scored just two goals in three official matches (vs Rangers, the Dynamo and Sacramento Republic FC). This has to change. The Rapids have got to find a way to put shots on frame and score goals.
2) A Starting XI: We should get a good idea as to the Rapids plan on starting on March 6 in San Jose based on who the roll out there tonight against Sporting. There has been some experimentation from the team with new players, draft picks and veterans. But this should be the match where we get that good idea as to who the Rapids plan on as their Starting XI when the season kicks off in 11 days.
3) The Trialists: Our very own Rapids Rabbi had a good look at the trialists the other day and this match is one of their final chances to impress. Stephen Keel, AJ Cochran and Dennis Castillo have done enough (in my opinion) to make the team. Has anyone else?
How to Watch:
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, 24 February 2016 at 8:00 PM MST
Venue: Kino North Stadium--Tucson, Arizona
TV Information: None
Predicted Starting XI:
Although this is just a preseason match, this is still a big one for the team. Here is my best "guess" at a Starting XI for this Rapids in this game:
Zac MacMath, Marc Burch, Bobby Burling, Axel Sjoberg, Eric Miller, Sam Cronin, Micheal Azira, Shkelzen Gashi, Dillon Powers, Dillon Serna, Kevin Doyle