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Game Preview and Starting XI: Colorado Rapids at Orlando City SC

This is only the 5th meeting between the two clubs.

John A. Babiak - @Photog_JohnB

As someone who spent nearly a decade in Orlando, I can attest there is something magical about Disney. And the Colorado Rapids could use a little Hogwarts wizardry today as they look to earn not only their first road points of the season but their first win ever against Orlando City SC.

There is not a lot of history between these two teams as they have only played against each other four times since Orlando joined MLS. The Rapids have lost three times and earned a draw once. The Rapids also have only scored a single goal against Orlando, and that was at DSGP.

Orlando City ended the 2018 season below the Rapids last year (8-22-4 with 28 points) and spent the off-season attempting to correct their mistakes. The Lions sent 17 players packing and picked up 14 new ones to start off the 2019 campaign. The most notable signing for OCSC was Nani, who most remember from his days at Manchester United, but was last with Sporting CP in Portugal. In his five appearances, he has bagged three assists, so his set-up play is something to watch out for.

The key for Colorado today is to stop Orlando from finding a rhythm. It has been said before, but if the Rapids are successful in stopping Orlando from building up an attack early, then there is a high probability of returning home with some points.

(Abbie spoke with Ben from The Mane Land to find out more about Nani’s impact and how the ‘Pids can stop Orlando. Read what he said here.)

Yesterday, the club came out yesterday saying that the first team 18 may look at little different this week as the team looks to find some chemistry. There are also a few key injuries: Kellyn Acosta is listed questionable with a knee injury, Sam Nicholson has a quad issue, Diego Rubio for his back, and Keegan Rosenberry dislocated his shoulder in last week’s game. Good timing for the Rapids to sign 16-year-old right back Sebastian Anderson.

The Rapids are forced to sit Tommy Smith as he is suspended for his red card last week and Kortne Ford is still out, so fans could see a whole new center back pairing.

The schedule gods were not kind to the Rapids this season, as they have faced some of the Western Conference’s strongest teams before having to take on a couple of powerhouses from the East (including D.C. United who will come to town next weekend). But schedule, injuries, and chemistry aside, the Rapids need to figure out how to get a win.

Predicted starting XI: Tim Howard; Keegan Rosenberry, Axel Sjoberg, Deklan Wynne, Dillon Serna; Cole Bassett, Benny Feilhaber, Jack Price, Nicolas Mezquida; Niki Jackson, Kei Kamara

[BW Update: Did Brendan get it right? ]

Colorado Rapids Soccer Club

Officials

Referee: Jair Marrufo

Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Logan Brown

4th Official: Elvis Osmanovic

VAR: Daniel Radford

Colorado

OUT: Kortne Ford (knee)

QUESTIONABLE: Kellyn Acosta (knee), Sam Nicholson (quad), Keegan Rosenberry (shoulder), Diego Rubio (back)

Suspended: Tommy Smith

Suspended after next caution: None

Orlando

OUT: Alex De John (hamstring)

QUESTIONABLE: Tesho Akindele (hamstring)

Suspended: None

Suspended after next caution: None

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Saturday, April 6th, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. MT

Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, Florida

TV Information: Altitude

Radio: Altitude 950

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

C38 Viewing Party: 4:30 p.m. at Frolic Brewing Company (12910 Zuni St Suite 1300, Westminster)