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Game Preview: Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas

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The Rapids look for their first win of the 2019 season this weekend in Dallas.

MLS: FC Dallas at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids travel to the Lone Star State this weekend to take on FC Dallas as the ‘Pids look to snag their first win of the 2019 season. With an overall record of 23-32-17 against FC Dallas, it may not seem like much of a rivalry on paper, but any long-time Rapids fan will quickly remind you of the 2010 MLS Cup final.

These two teams often play early in the season too, typically in April, so this match comes a couple of weeks earlier than normal. The Rapids are on the uphill climb as they still see a 0 in the win column, yet have come extremely close in both home games. These early games (for teams on the rebuild) are a good time to fine-tune some of the smaller mistakes.

This is also an international week, which means some teams have players missing due to call-ups for their respective countries. Diego Rubio got the call for Chile, who played Mexico last night (Rubio was on the bench) and take on the USMNT on Tuesday. Due to Rubio’s absence, it is very likely that rookie Andre Shinyashiki will get his first start of his career.

Benny Feilhaber is listed as questionable with the flu, leaving the door open for another youngster, Cole Bassett. Bassett looked good in the first game of the season but the red card to Axel Sjoberg cut his minutes short as Coach Hudson had to adjust the game plan.

Not to take anything away from Rubio or Feilhaber, but these two changes in the line-up could be the small adjustment that the Rapids need in order to get three points in a city where they have only won eight times (the Rapids are 8-23-17 overall in Dallas).

We could see a change in the back line as well. Tommy Smith is no longer listed as questionable and he said he planned on being back for this game at the kickoff party earlier this year. Kofi Opare is also no longer listed as questionable and got a good 70 minutes in last week in the Springs. And then there’s Deklan Wynne, who has been in good form lately.

Possession-based soccer will get the job done. It was what worked against Portland, for a brief time against Seattle, and held down Sporting KC when they needed it. Fitness will also be key as the Rapids will want to run down FC Dallas. With a good amount of possession, Dallas could be chasing the game from the very beginning.

Read more about what to expect from FC Dallas here.

Predicted starting XI: Tim Howard; Keegan Rosenberry, Tommy Smith, Axel Sjoberg, Dillon Serna; Jack Price, Cole Bassett, Kellyn Acosta, Nicolas Mezquida; Andre Shinyashiki, Kei Kamara

Officials

Referee: Christopher Penso

Assistant Referees: Jeff Hosking, Cory Richardson

4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez

VAR: Tim Ford

Colorado

OUT: Kortne Ford (knee)

QUESTIONABLE: Benny Feilhaber (flu)

Suspended: Johan Blomberg

Suspended after next caution: None

International duty: Diego Rubio

Dallas

OUT: Cristian Colman (left ACL tear), Francis Atuahene (left ruptured pectoral muscle), Jacori Hayes (hamstring), Ema Twumasi (back)

Suspended: None

Suspended after next caution: None

International duty: Carlos Gruezo, Bryan Acosta

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 3:55 p.m. MT

Venue: Toyota Stadium — Frisco, TX

TV Information: UniMás, Twitter

Radio: 92.5 FM

Streaming: MLS LIVE on ESPN+ (US), DAZN (Canada)

Watch Parties: Celtic on Market (Denver)