There is not a lot of history when it comes to the matchup between the Colorado Rapids and Orlando City SC. Just three league games and the Rapids have yet to figure out how to take three points from the relatively new Eastern Conference foe, going 0-2-1 all-time.
The Rapids have a new coach and both teams have a few new key players since the last time they faced each other: SKC’s Dom Dwyer now wears purple, as well as midfielder Sacha Kljestan from NYRB, Justin Meram from Columbus Crew, as well as internationals Mohamed El-Munir from Libya, and Lamine Sanéand.
Orlando is riding a four-game win streak, with a +2 goal differential (14gf/12ga). So while OCSC sits in 5th in the Eastern Conference with a 4-2-1 record, they average about a 2-1 scoreline so a white-knuckle soccer game could be in store for the viewers.
It’s a home game for the Rapids, which means they have history on their side as OCSC has not won here in league play. The Rapids are also on a seven-game home unbeaten streak, just three home games into the 2018 season.
Clearly, the Rapids are without Tim Howard for this match after last week’s red card. Luckily, we have depth at goalkeeper and happen to have a guy who was the league’s best keeper before we signed the country’s best, so we aren’t worried when Zac MacMath steps in between the posts.
As for the rest of the Rapids expected starting XI, one could expect mostly the same as what was intended in Salt Lake. There are good cases for both Shkelzen Gashi and Yannick Boli to make starts in front of the home crowd, which would be an epic gift to those in attendance.
Danny Wilson was training with the rest of the squad earlier in the week and listed as questionable for Sunday’s match. Chances are, if he is listed as questionable we are still about a week or two away from seeing his return to the starting lineup. Kortne Ford was also on the training pitch giving everything he had in sprints, but still is a good couple weeks away. Joe Mason also looked like he could be considered for the starting XI, so Coach Hudson could have some decisions to make.
Not only is this a Sunday match, but it is also a 2 pm kickoff so if you plan on attending you not only want to show up at the right time but early: Tim Howard will be making a visit to the tailgate and to the Tailgate Live pre-game show. USA hockey Olympic gold medalist Nicole Hensley will also be talking with Jordan and Connor at Tailgate Live.
Predicted starting XI: Zac MacMath, Deklan Wynne, Axel Sjoberg, Tommy Smith, Nana Boateng, Enzo Martinez, Jack Price, Johan Blomberg, Edgar Castillo, Dominique Badji, Shkelzen Gashi
QUESTIONABLE: D - Danny Wilson (ankle)
OUT: D - Kortne Ford (left MCL sprain), D - Marlon Hairston (right knee surgery), GK - Tim Howard (suspension)
QUESTIONABLE: D - RJ Allen (hamstring)
OUT: GK - Mason Stajduhar (localized Ewing sarcoma), D - Scott Sutter (lower body), D - Jonathan Spector (concussion)
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Sunday, April 29th @ 2 pm
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park - Commerce City
TV Information: ESPN
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C38 Tailgate (Starts at 11 am)
Guest Player: Tim Howard