The Rapids ride a 3 game win streak into tonight matchup against the Portland Timbers. They beat Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City in MLS matches, then mounted a thrilling comeback over OKC Energy FC in US Open Cup play this past week. Tim Howard will face off against his USMNT teammate Darlington Nagbe; the two played at DSGP two weeks ago in the same colors, and this week they’ll be foes.
The Rapids will likely be getting Axel Sjoberg and Kortne Ford back from injury, and that should shore up the defense significantly. But Bobby Burling is sidelined for 4-6 weeks with a foot injury, and Shkelzen Gashi is nursing a sore hamstring.
Portland feature one of MLS’ most prolific scoring attacks, scoring 26 goals through 15 games. Diego Valeri has 8 goals, 5 assists so far through the 2017 campaign, and hulking striker Fanendo Adi has 8 goals, 2 assists. On the other hand Portland have conceded 21 goals - only four teams in the Western Conference have conceded more. The Rapids played with a defensive, cautious approach at the outset of the season, but shifted to a more aggressive 4-4-2 after the trade of Sam Cronin to Minnesota. Which Rapids we get tonight is anyone’s guess.
Colorado Rapids Starting XI
Howard; Hairston, Ford, Sjoberg, da Fonte; Gatt, Watts , Azira, Saeid; Badji, Doyle
Portland Timbers Starting XI
Jake Gleeson; Zarek Valentin, Amobi Okugo, Lawrence Olum, Vytas ; Diego Chara, Ben Zemanski ; Dairon Asprilla, Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco ; Fanendo Adi