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Game Preview & Starting XI: Chicago Fire vs Colorado Rapids

MLS: Chicago Fire at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids are in the Windy City today to take on the Chicago Fire, who are unbeaten in their last three games. It’s an early kickoff at 11 a.m. and the teams will be wearing their Parley jerseys for Earth Day weekend, so don’t get confused when you see the Burgundy Boys donning aqua.

The Fire has a new midfielder, Argentinian Nicolas Gaitan, who has had an impressive career. His best years were 2010-2016 with S.L. Benfica, winning the league three times, the league cup five times, and the Portuguese Cup once. Some say he could be the league’s new Giovinco and I’m sure the Rapids are aware of his abilities. Gaitan made his first start last weekend against Vancouver, so it is likely that he will remain in the starting lineup today. That’s a solid core with Bastian Schweinsteiger at centerback, Dax McCarty as a defensive mid, Nicolas Gaitan as the attacking mid, and then Nemanja Nikolic up top. That means the middle of the pitch could be where the action will be.

In training this week, the Rapids focused on defending up the middle, as well as making sure to pick up the right man when defending on the counter. Offensively, the Rapids will have to stick with what has been working in the past. Possession on the outside and cross it in to the target man, Kei Kamara. Build up play on the outside will be important as well—it’s pretty much a defend-and-avoid-the-middle-of-the-pitch kind of day.

Colorado will still be without the services of Kortne Ford, who may really be just a few weeks away this time. There have been some minor setbacks in the past and the club is making sure they do it right this time.

Three points are three points and it does not matter if you are home or away. The Rapids have not won much in Chicago (4-16-2) and have yet to win yet this season, but as Johan Blomberg said at the tailgate last week “anyone can win in this league, no games are a given win.”

Starting XI: Tim Howard; Keegan Rosenberry, Kofi Opare, Tommy Smith, Sam Vines; Nicolas Mezquida, Kellyn Acosta, Jack Price, Benny Feilhaber; Diego Rubio, Kei Kamara


OUT: Kortne Ford (knee)



Suspended: None

Suspended after next caution: None


OUT: Andre Reynolds II (thigh), Jorge Corrales (groin), Raheem Edwards (knee), Przemyslaw Frankowski (groin), Fabian Herbers (groin)


Probable: None

Suspended: None

Suspended after next caution: None

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Saturday, April 20th at 11 a.m.

Venue: SeatGeek Stadium — Bridgeview, IL

TV Information: AltitudeTV

Radio: ALTITUDE950

Live Stream: ESPN+ (subscription required)

C38 Viewing: Celtic on Market in Denver, Frolic Brewing in Westminster, Blue Spruce Brewing in South Denver