The Colorado Rapids are 0-6-4 away from home in the Rocky Mountain Cup, and they would have had their first win at Rio Tinto last year but Dillon Powers missed a penalty at the end of the match. Both teams last year struggled to get anything offensive moving as they both finished at the bottom in scoring. This year, the Rapids seem to be the same they have always been, netting only one goal in all games but one, and Real Salt Lake being on the totally opposite side of that, scoring eight total goals. This Saturday will be a huge day for the Rapids, they have a lot to prove and I truly believe they can get out of Rio Tinto with a result. END THE LOOSING STREAK!
Stop Joao Plata
This guy has been an absolute monster to start the season, and we if we want a chance to win this game we need to figure out how to stop him. Last week we had a similar player in Sebastian Giovinco who is similar in height (Joao Plata is actually smaller at 5'3'') and just as dangerous. Axel Sjoberg and Bobby Burling did a pretty good job at keeping Giovinco silent throughout the game (except for some pretty close free kicks) and they will need to do that again on Saturday for the Rapids to get a result and hopefully three points.
We Have Marco Pappa
That's right! We have Marco Pappa. He will need to have a good game for us to continue our unbeaten streak. There is no reason to think he wont either. He has been part of every single goal the Rapids have scored this year, and if you have watched any of the matches, he is absolutely everywhere. He is the type of player that creates and when he's at his best he will roam wherever he wants. He has been our best player and all we need for him to do is keep playing exactly how he's been playing. He did look a little tired at the end of the match last week, but hopefully this week he will be 100% and ready to go. I can't wait to see what he does as the year goes on.
Okay, so he blew it against D.C. United but came up with a GIANT save against Toronto FC. Moving forward he will probably have to absorb a lot of pressure on Saturday. My guess, he will only need to make one or two big saves and just be smart for the entire game to get a result. He's had a problem with clearances and crosses this year, and I believe he will clean it up against Salt Lake. This team is extremely dangerous on counter attack so we cant be turning the ball over from sloppy clearances. I think he improves form and continues the winning streak.
Get A Goal Early On
We have proven this year that we only need one. It's not the best plan or the best for the hearts of fans, but that might be all we need. If we can capitalize on chances early on, it could be the key to the game. A good first 30 minutes could be what we need for three points by frustrating Real Salt Lake and getting their fans out of the game (probably due to Pabloball). Also, we shouldn't get discouraged if the Rapids get down by two goals, Salt Lake has already proven that they blow leads pretty easily, so KEEP FIGHTING!
The Month Of Death
April 9th-Real Salt Lake
April 13th-Sporting Kansas City
April 16th-New York Red Bulls
April 23rd-Seattle Sounders
April 30th-Montreal Impact
This is going to be a tough stretch for the Burgundy Boys, but they will get through it and I think they will surprise a lot of people. I want to know though, how many points will make you happy as fans? Obviously 15 points is the hope, but realistically what would impress you? Personally, I want to see at least 8 points. Let me know in the comments below and in the poll!