On Saturday, March 4th, the Colorado Rapids will kick off the 2017 Major League Soccer season at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park against the New England Revolution. Kickoff is set for 4:00 pm local time and the match will be broadcast on Altitude.
The MLS off-season can feel quite long for many fans of the league. For many Rapids supporters, some might be surprised at the fact the 2017 campaign is finally here, as Colorado had a deep playoff run that saw the Commerce City side play all the way to the Western Conference Finals. Unfortunately, the Rapids were not able to defeat Seattle over two legs, but there is plenty of optimism heading into the new season.
Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni does have a few concerns going into the season opener against New England. Goalkeeper Tim Howard has not fully recovered from his groin injury sustained in November while playing for the United States National Team. It is unlikely he will feature, so Zac MacMath will most likely start in goal for Colorado. Shkelzen Gashi is dealing with an Achilles inflammation, so the status for the Albanian international is unclear at this time.
New England are hoping to overcome their shortcomings from 2016. The Greater Boston side boast an impressive attacking corp with Diego Fagúndez, Juan Agudelo, Kei Kamara, and Lee Nguyen. The Revs will want to improve on their 7th place finish in the Eastern conference last season and they could have a tough time at high altitude in Denver on Saturday. The Rapids had one of the best home records in all of MLS last season.
One of the big questions for Colorado is whether or not they can replicate the success they had last season. Pablo Mastroeni has his defense in order, but the offense still struggled for large parts of 2016. Former Rapids player Conor Casey joined the coaching staff in the offseason, and Colorado will hope the addition of Bismark Adjei-Boateng will be a boost for the Rocky Mountain side that had a relatively quiet off-season in terms of player acquisitions.
It’s also worth noting that the Rapids beat the Revs 3-1 in the Desert Diamond Cup a couple weeks ago.
QUESTIONABLE: Shkëlzen Gashi (ankle)
OUT: Tim Howard (adductor), Dillon Serna (knee)
OUT: Zachary Herivaux (right ankle sprain)
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. MST
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park—Commerce City, CO
TV Information: Altitude TV
Live Stream: MLS Live (Blackouts apply)
Weather at Kickoff: mid-60s and partly cloudy