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Starting XI & Game Preview: Colorado Rapids vs. FC Cincinnati

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The Rapids play the MLS newbies for the first time.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at FC Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids play host to MLS newcomers FC Cincinnati today with a 6:30 pm kickoff time. Considering this is the first MLS meeting between the two teams, there is not much to talk about in the area of historical stats. So, let’s look at them a little differently.

FCC are the Eastern Conference equivalent of the Colorado Rapids; with more in common than being on the bottom of their conference standings. A week after the Rapids fired coach Hudson, FCC fired Alan Koch; both teams saw an improvement right away in their interim managers. Their records are nearly identical with the Rapids: Colorado has a 2-9-3 record, while FC Cincinnati has a 3-9-2 record. FC Cincinnati’s owner was an NFL executive for the Bengals for nearly 20 years before founding the soccer team in 2015. Only recently did it occur to Jeff Berding that the NFL is different and someone who knows soccer should run the day to day business, so he hired Gerard Nijkamp as General manager earlier this week (the Dutch version of Padraig Smith).

Both teams also have a roster worthy of much more wins than loses, yet the beginning of the season hasn’t started out as they would have hoped. Today both teams look to better their season tonight in what could be a good game for Rapids fans. FC Cincinnati has not been able to find the back of the net recently as the Rapids have finetuned their attack as of late.

The Burgundy Boys are relatively healthy with only Kortne Ford listed as out, but FCC is in a bad place with one player out, seven listed as questionable, and one more suspended. Even though FCC did not play mid-week like the Rapids, they are working with a limited roster, while Conor Casey gave a few regular starters a break on Wednesday, so the ‘Pids are ready to give the home fans a good show.

The only concern fans may have with today’s game might be that Ted Unkle is the center referee. If you don’t pay attention to refs who haven’t been very kind to the Rapids in the past, know that this guy is near the top of the list.

Predicted Starting XI: Tim Howard, Keegan Rosenberry, Lalas Abubakar, Tommy Smith, Deklan Wynne, Jack Price, Kellyn Acosta, Sam Nicholson, Cole Bassett, Andre Shinyashiki, Kei Kamara

Officials:

Referee: Ted Unkel

Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Andrew Bigelow

4th Official: Farhad Dadkho

VAR: Younes Marrakchi

Colorado

OUT: Kortne Ford (knee)

QUESTIONABLE: NA

Suspended: None

Suspended after next caution: Diego Rubio (F)

FC Cincinnati

OUT: Jimmy McLaughlin (right ACL surgery)

QUESTIONABLE: Corben Bone (left shoulder), Allan Cruz (left ankle), Greg Garza (right calf), Fatai Alashe (hamstring), Darren Mattocks (hip ), Kenny Saief (hamstring), Leonardo Bertone (hamstring)

Suspended: Kendall Waston (D)

Suspended after next caution: Leonardo Bertone (M)

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Saturday, June 1st at 6:30 p.m. MT

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

TV Information: AltitudeTV

Radio: ALTITUDE950

Live Stream: ESPN+ (subscription required)

C38 Tailgate: Starts at 3:30 p.m.