The Colorado Rapids travel to Eastern Kansas to take on Sporting Kansas City in the first match up of the season for the Western Conference rivals. This will be the only trip to Kansas (in the regular season) for the Rapids as Sporting comes to Dick's Sporting Goods Park twice (one in May and one in July). The Rapids are coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss at Real Salt Lake and Sporting picked up a 2-0 win over New York Red Bulls last Saturday.
The Goal for the Rapids: get a road result
What to Watch For
1) Can the Rapids score--this is a heck of a question. Can the Rapids score a goal? Right now they are averaging 0.6 goals per game. That is absolutely abysmal. I mean, three goals in five games? What in the hell happened with John Spencer and his offensive genius? The Rapids are really bad in front of goal. No other way to say it.
2) But the Defense--the defense is excellent. It really is. But here is the problem with it. They have to be excellent and nearly perfect for the Rapids to have a chance in this one....and that's the problem. It should not always fall onto them. The offense has to help out.
3) Zac MacMath--and while MacMath did make a meal out of the RSL goal on Saturday, it should never have come to that. The Rapids have had chances to score goals and they simply cannot finish. And that lack of finishing is a trait of the Pablo Mastroeni era. So while MacMath needs to be better, the attack has got to improve or this team will continue to be average at best.
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Sean Hurd and Jason White
Fourth Official: Nima Saghafi
Injuries: Colorado--OUT: Sean St. Ledger, Kevin Doyle, Jared Watts, Marlon Hairston. Kansas City--OUT: Justin Mapp, Chance Myers, Soni Mustivar, Kevin Ellis. QUESTIONABLE: Paulo Nagamura, Matt Besler, Brad Davis
Suspensions: Colorado--Jermaine Jones
How to Watch
Match Day/Time: Wednesday, 13 April 2016 at 6:30 PM MDT
Venue: Children's Mercy Park--Kansas City, Kansas
TV Information: Altitude 2 (Richard Fleming and Marcelo Balboa)
Weather at Kickoff: 66 degrees and clear
Predicted Starting XI
I do not really see much changing for the Rapids as they head into this one, but I am going to offer two possible lineups; one that I think they start with and the one I want to see (keeping with the 4-2-3-1 formation):
Probable Starting XI:
Zac MacMath, Marc Burch, Axel Sjoberg, Bobby Burling, Eric Miller, Sam Cronin, Micheal Azira, Shkelzen Gashi, Dillon Powers, Marco Pappa, Luis Solignac
My Preferred Starting XI:
Zac MacMath, Marc Burch, Axel Sjoberg, Bobby Burling, Eric Miller, Sam Cronin, Dillon Powers, Shkelzen Gashi, Marco Pappa, Dillon Serna, Luis Solignac
This will serve as your official game thread for this Western Conference showdown. We will have analysis, opinion and commentary after this one is done!