On Saturday March 18th, the Colorado Rapids will return to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and play host to MLS expansion side Minnesota United FC. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm and the match will be broadcast on Altitude 2. It looks like we could have temperatures as high as 80 degrees on Saturday, which is somewhat surprising for mid-March in the Denver metro area.
Minnesota United previously competed in the North American Soccer League (NASL), a professional league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation. The league is considered Division 2, with Major League Soccer being Division 1. (There is no Promotion or Relegation between the two leagues.) In 2017, Minnesota United became the 22nd team in MLS, backed by an ownership group led by Bill McGuire. The franchise has some serious investment, with ownership groups from the MLB Minnesota Twins and NBA Minnesota Timberwolves also coming together with Bill McGuire to help fund the team financially.
Colorado (1-1-0, 3 points) are coming off a disappointing 1-0 defeat in Harrison, New Jersey, to the New York Red Bulls. Overall, the Rapids did not play that well as they only mustered one shot on target. The game was decided by Colorado defender Eric Miller’s own goal just before halftime. Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard was fantastic and made several saves to keep Colorado in the game. An equalizer was not meant to be, and the Rapids fell victim to another defeat at Red Bull Arena.
Minnesota United (0-2-0, 0 points) have been absolutely horrendous in their first two matches. The lost 5-1 at Portland and then 6-1 against Atlanta United at TCF Bank Stadium which is on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The latter was played in front of roughly 35,000 fans in heavy snow conditions for the Loons home opener. Kevin Molino scored from the spot for Minnesota, but head coach Adrian Heath will have to go back to the drawing board after seeing his side concede 11 goals in two games.
Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard was recently named to the United States National Team after the former Everton goalkeeper proved his fitness and made his first appearance of the season against the New York Red Bulls last weekend. Howard was injured on November 11 while featuring for the national team in the loss to Mexico. He had to get season-ending surgery and was then forced to miss the Western Conference championship games against eventual MLS Cup winner Seattle Sounders.
QUESTIONABLE: Kevin Doyle (head), Alan Gordon (back)
OUT: Axel Sjoberg (hamstring)
OUT: John Alvbage (knee), Bernardo Anor (hamstring)
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. MDT
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park—Commerce City, CO
TV Information: Altitude 2
Live Stream: MLS Live (Blackouts apply)
Weather at Kickoff: high 70s-low 80s and sunny