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#ATLvCOL: Starting XI and Game Thread

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The Rapids travel to Georgia to take on Atlanta United in their first and only match-up this year.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Atlanta United FC Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Rivalry Week! So naturally, the Colorado Rapids are playing Real Salt Lake, right? Nope. We’re heading to the Dirty South to take on Atlanta United. This is the first and only time the teams will meet this season, and since ATLUD is a brand new expansion team, neither side really knows how to handle the other.

While Atlanta has the most goals scored in MLS, and have only been shut out twice this season. We talked with Haris Kruskic from SB Nation’s Dirty South Soccer and he says that the secret to stopping Atlanta’s offense is to “sit back and defend.” I think the Burgundy Boys can do that. (It’s also worth noting that the Five Stripes are also among the highest for goals against.)

The tricky part about all of this (for the Rapids at least) is that Colorado has yet to get a single point on the road, while Atlanta is 4-2-0 at home. Atlanta consistently sells out at Bobby Dodd Stadium, so it’s going to be a tough atmosphere for the ‘Pids, who have won three out of their last four MLS games. ATLUD has won two of their last four.

We are seeing some player rotation, which is to be expected considering how many games the Rapids have in a short period of time. Shkelzen Gashi is still off the list, as is Mohammed Saeid after coming out of last game with a knee injury. BUT (!) Nana is on the bench tonight!

COLORADO RAPIDS STARTING XI:

Tim Howard; Dennis Castillo, Mike da Fonte, Eric Miller, Mekeil Williams; Michael Azira, Dillon Powers, Dillon Serna, Josh Gatt; Caleb Calvert, Kevin Doyle

BENCH: Sam Hamilton, Zac MacMath, Alan Gordon, Ricardo Perez, Bismark Adeji-Boateng, Kortne Ford, Marlon Hairston

ATLANTA UNITED STARTING XI:

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