It was early in 2016 when the Colorado Rapids went to Seattle and snagged their second-ever win in the Emerald City. We didn’t know what that 2016 season would become at that point, but that win may have helped spark what was one unforgettable season.
Playing in Seattle is notoriously difficult and the Rapids have won there just two times in 10 years… that’s through four coaches, two general managers, and an Easter basket full of squad changes year after year, yet they still haven’t been able to figure out how to win there.
That being said, even though the Rapids are just one game into the 2019 campaign, there is something about the atmosphere that says 2016, but potentially much bigger.
It could be that Kei Kamara has a bigger personality and presence in the locker room than Kevin Doyle. Or maybe starting off the season with a Snow Clasico and taking the Portland Timbers to a 3-3 tie in dramatic fashion has the fan base begging for more of the same. It could be a lot of things, but there is no denying that there is something about this team that has us feeling a bit more positive.
The problem is that the Rapids are scarce at center back right now. With Axel Sjoberg sitting out for the red card last weekend, there is only Danny Wilson left as a healthy choice for center back. I felt like Wilson had his best game in burgundy last week, so one can only hope he continues that form in today’s game. Tommy Smith is listed as questionable, but the chances of anyone who is recovering from injury playing today on turf are nearly none. Same goes for Sam Nicholson, who still is recovering from some back issues. Kortne Ford is out, but said he feels good and may just be a few more weeks away. Ditto for Kofi Opare who is listed out with a foot injury.
Thankfully, the midfield and forwards are in a good place. It also helps that both Kamara and Nicolas Mezquida were in Vancouver last year playing on turf at BC Place, so CenturyLink Field won’t be as big of a deal to them.
As for the other guys: the Sounders (or Flounders as C38 likes to call them) came out of the gates firing against expansion side FC Cincinnati, winning 4-1 with Jordan Morris bagging two goals. Being just one game in, it is hard to judge the form of either team, but both teams had momentum-building games last week so now it’s about keeping the pace.
In a perfect world, you want a win for the Rapids, but when you take into consideration the backline, the pitch, being away in Seattle, and—most importantly—Baldomero Toledo is the center ref today, I’d say a tie is almost as good as a win here.
Predicted starting XI: Tim Howard; Keegan Rosenberry, Danny Wilson, Deklan Wynne, Dillon Serna; Jack Price, Kellyn Acosta, Benny Feilhaber, Nicolas Mezquida; Diego Rubio, Kei Kamara.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Mike Rottersman, Felisha Mariscal
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Fotis Bazakos
OUT: Kortne Ford (knee), Kofi Opare (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: Sam Nicholson (back), Tommy Smith (knee)
Suspended: Axel Sjoberg
QUESTIONABLE: Henry Wingo (groin)
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 8 p.m. MT
Venue: CenturyLink Field — Seattle, WA
TV Information: AltitudeTV
Radio: 92.5 FM
Streaming: MLS LIVE on ESPN+ (US), DAZN (Canada)
Watch Parties: Celtic on Market (Denver), Frolic Brewing (Westminster), Blue Spruce Brewing (Centennial)