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Game Preview: Colorado Rapids vs. Toronto FC

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Toronto is coming to town but keeping their eyes on CCL.

MLS: Concacaf Champions League-Toronto FC at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Rapids are back at home to take on Toronto FC in the two team’s only match-up of the 2018 regular season. It’s rumored that TFC won’t be going into this match with their best foot forward, as the Toronto Sun reported that half the starting XI was out due to injury or fatigue. Maybe the next time we play TFC, both teams will have their best XI on the pitch.

Rapids head coach Anthony Hudson has also commented in the past about how Toronto can easily swap players and it not really change the strength of TFC. Toronto’s depth is what sets them apart from many of the other teams in this league, so while Greg Vanney and company may be focusing more on the CCL final, that does not mean it will be an easy go for the Burgundy Boys.

The Rapids are 6-8-2 all-time against TFC in league play, with 5 of the 6 wins coming at Dicks Sporting Goods Park. Colorado also has a 6-game home unbeaten streak going—remember the streak of 2016 and where that put us in the standings by the end of the year?

If you are still looking for consistency in the starting XI from the Rapids you will have to wait a little longer. Danny Wilson is out for at least another week; enter Axel back in the starting lineup. Enzo Martinez is listed as questionable and didn’t fully train this week; plug in Nana Boateng.

On a more positive note, it has been confirmed that Shkelzen Gashi is at 100% and available for selection. The question on everyone’s mind is: will he start? We’re also wondering if this could this be the week that Yannick Boli makes his debut? Will it be a start, or as a sub for Joe Mason come the 70th minute?

The Rapids firepower is starting to show itself—Dominique Badji’s hatty has the team tied for most goals in a match over the past three seasons. It should also be noted that Edgar Castillo’s had a game where he had seven tackles and seven interceptions, which was not done by anyone at all last year.

Things are coming together. The offense is starting to produce (7 GF, 1.7 goals per game) while the defense is beginning to lock things down. The next step is hanging on to a lead in the closing minutes of the game. Seeing as the Rapids have shown us progression it would be a nice show for the fans to not only keep the lead but to show us that killer instinct.

The Rapids have also designated Saturday as Laurie Ford Day, so make sure you come out and support the Fords! Learn more here.

Predicted starting XI: Tim Howard; Deklan Wynne, Axel Sjoberg, Tommy Smith; Kip Colvey, Nana Boateng, Jack Price, Johan Blomberg, Edgar Castillo; Dom Badji, Joe Mason

Injuries/Suspensions

Colorado

QUESTIONABLE: D - Danny Wilson (ankle), F - Shkelzen Gashi (calf), D - Eric Miller (calf), M - Enzo Martinez (undisclosed)

OUT: Kortne Ford (left MCL sprain), D - Marlon Hairston (right knee surgery)

Toronto FC

QUESTIONABLE: D - Nick Hagglund (hamstring)

OUT: D - Justin Morrow (calf strain), F - Jozy Altidore (foot)

PROBABLE: D - Chris Mavinga (abdominal discomfort), M - Victor Vazquez (back spasms)

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Saturday, April 14th @ 1 pm

Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park - Commerce City

TV Information: AltitudeTV

Radio: Altitude950

Live Stream: MLS Live (blackouts apply)

C38 Tailgate (Starts at 10 am)

Guest Player: Marlon Hairston