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Game Preview: Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City

One of our Western Conference rivals are in town for St. Patrick’s Day!

Sporting Kansas City are in town to take on our Colorado Rapids. While every home game is a holiday to many Rapids fans, today there is twice the reason to celebrate—it’s St. Patrick’s Day! While a 7 p.m. kick-off on a Sunday evening might not sound too inviting considering it may be 35 degrees out, it won’t stop the faithful from filling up Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

The fly-over rivalry is real as the Rapids are 23-25-14 overall against SKC (and 4-0-1 at DSGP since 2014), telling us that the home team typically prevails, but not without 90 minutes of nail-biting soccer. When Sporting KC comes to town, the Rapids have scored 17 goals in the final 15 minutes.

For Colorado to continue their form against SKC, possession will be key. With the types of players the Rapids now have, combined with the 4-4-2 diamond formation, attack-minded, goal-scoring soccer can happen. Last week the Rapids threw out that tactic against Seattle, where they looked to play on the counter-attack and it didn’t work.

Having three players (Kei Kamara, Benny Feilhaber, and Diego Rubio) who previously spent time playing for Sporting, the Rapids will look to them not just for their experience, but also that extra motivation to stick it to your former team.

Like the first two games, the main concern is the centerback pairing. Kortne Ford is still listed as out, while both Sam Nicholson and Tommy Smith have been upgraded to questionable. Defender Kofi Opare was sent to Colorado Springs in what is most likely a rehab assignment, so he’s out for this weekend. Meanwhile, Axel Sjoberg returns from his one-match ban after receiving a red card for a handball in the season opener.

The Rapids will look to use every advantage they have to earn three points against their Western Conference foes as they look to remain unbeaten at home and send the Cauldron home with tears in their beers.

Predicted starting XI: Tim Howard; Keegan Rosenberry, Danny Wilson, Axel Sjoberg, Dillon Serna; Jake Price, Benny Feilhaber, Kellyn Acosta, Nicolás Mezquida; Diego Rubio, Kei Kamara

Officials

Referee: Allen Chapman

Assistant Referees: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho, Michael Kampmeinert

4th Official: Guido Gonzales Jr

VAR: Jorge Gonzalez

Colorado

OUT: Kortne Ford (knee)

QUESTIONABLE: Sam Nicholson (back), Tommy Smith (knee)

SUSPENDED: None

Kansas City

OUT: Jimmy Medranda (knee)

QUESTIONABLE: Andreu Fontàs (hip), Erik Hurtado (knee), Daniel Salloi (ankle)

SUSPENDED: None

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Sunday, March 17, 2019 at 7 p.m. MT

Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park — Commerce City, CO

TV Information: AltitudeTV

Radio: 92.5 FM

Streaming: MLS LIVE on ESPN+

Tailgate: 4 p.m.