The Colorado Rapids make the long flight from Denver to Dulles this weekend to play Eastern Conference foe D.C. United in a matchup of teams that the experts can't quite figure out. For the Rapids, they will be looking at grabbing their first road result of the season and for United, they open their home campaign searching for their first win.
The Goal for the Rapids: Grab a road result.
What to Watch For:
1) Who plays: the Rapids are down one of their big off-season signing as Shkelzen Gashi was suspended for this one for running onto the pitch at the end of last weeks thrilling victory. Who will take his place? Will Marco Pappa start?Will Dillon Serna make a start in this one? This is a pretty big decision, but it would not surprise me to see Rapids head coach go with a defensive lineup as he looks to get a result.
2) To Bunker or Not To Bunker: Another big question mark for the Rapids in this one is whether to park the bus and bunker today or to try and actually win the game. The Rapids have had a history, during the Mastroeni era, of parking that bus on the road and try and score on the counter. Certainly that can be successful, but it leads to a lot of ugly soccer but on the road it's not about the beauty of it. It's about the result.
3) But that Good Will thing: the Rapids have played functional and respectable soccer in their first two weeks, but there are still a ton of question marks about this team and a good amount of skepticism. The Burgundy Boys earned a lot of good will and warm feelings after the win last Saturday. The last thing they want to go and do is get run out of the park like they did in 2014. They need to play well in this one.
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referees: CJ Morgante and Gianni Facchini
Fourth Official: Geoff Gamble
Injuries: Colorado: OUT--Sean St. Ledger and John Berner. DC United: OUT-- Bill Hamid, Andrew Dykstra, Chris Korb and Markus Halsti. QUESTIONABLE: Fabian Espindola and Patrick Nyarko.
Suspensions: Colorado: Shkelzen Gashi and Jermaine Jones. DC United: NONE
How to Watch:
Match Date/Time: Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 3:00 PM MDT
Venue: RFK Stadium, Washington DC
TV Information: ESPN2
Supporters Watch Party: Stout Street Bulldogs will be at the British Bulldog for this match. Centennial 38 has a number of different options to watch the match with fellow supporter.
On-Line Viewing: Watch ESPN
Weather at Kick-off: 42 degrees and a 45% chance of rain
Predicted Starting XI:
I don't expect Pablo Mastroeni to change much this weekend as the Rapids look to snare a road result:
Zac MacMath, Mekeil Williams, Axel Sjoberg, Jared Watts, Marc Burch, Sam Cronin, Micheal Azira, Marco Pappa, Dillon Powers, Dominique Badji, Kevin Doyle
This will serve as your official Burgundy Wave game thread for this Sunday afternoon match. Stick with us for analysis, commentary and opinion as the Rapids look end March with two consecutive wins.