The Colorado Rapids welcome the visiting Portland Timbers to Dick's Sporting Goods Park for the first time in 2016 and for the defending MLS Cup Champions this visit could be coming at a bad time. The Rapids are coming off an extra time loss in the US Open Cup and also lost Dillon Serna for the year.
could will be the home debut of Goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Needless to say, this is a big match for both the Rapids and the Timbers
The Goal for Colorado: Win
What to Watch For
1) Tim Howard: this game should mark the home debut of Tim Howard as he returns to Major League Soccer after a decade overseas where he played for Manchester United and Everton FC. There has been some good conversation among the experts of MLS as to whether Howard is an upgrade over Zac MacMath. I won't get drawn into that conversation, but I will say this: Howard offers something that MacMath just can't: a big name that gets people caring about the Rapids and MLS.
2) Road Trippin': the Portland Timbers have an interesting record. They are 6-2-1 (19 points, 2.11 PPG) at Providence Park in Portland and 0-4-4 (4 points, 0.5 PPG) on the road. That is pitiful. And with the Rapids home record of 7-0-1 (22 points, 2.75 PPG) this looks to be a difficult task for the MLS Cup Champions.
3) Rest and Health: This is only the third MLS game for the Rapids since late May and while that has not meant many opportunities for supporters to watch the Burgundy Boys, it means that the injury list is short. Many players got good rest to heal the little knocks that are picked up. And while the good guys are missing three important pieces, the overall health of the team is good.
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Michael Kampmeinert and Cameron Blanchard
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford
Injuries: Colorado--OUT: Bobby Burling, Sean St. Ledger, Dillon Serna. Portland--OUT: Adam Kwarasey
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Monday, 4 July 2016 at 7:00 PM MDT
Venue: Dick's Sporting Goods Park--Commerce City, Colorado
TV Information: Altitude Sports Television
Radio Information: Altitude Sports Radio AM 950 (English) or La Invasora 87.7 FM (en Español).
Live Stream: MLS Live (FREE Stream of the Week
Weather at Kickoff: 83 degrees and Partly Cloudy
Predicted Starting XI:
Well, here it is. The Rapids have not officially confirmed that Tim Howard will be starting tonight, but with all of the hype and energy that the club and Major League Soccer are putting into this, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where he is not in the Starting XI. Here is my best guess:
Tim Howard, Marc Burch, Axel Sjoberg, Eric Miller, Mekeil Williams, Sam Cronin, Micheal Azira, Shkelzen Gashi, Jermaine Jones, Marco Pappa, Kevin Doyle