The Colorado Rapids resume MLS play tonight as they take on the Whitecaps in Vancouver. This is the second time the two teams will have met this season, having played at Dicks Sporting Goods Park at the beginning of May. In a way, this game will be a bit of a mulligan for head coach Conor Casey, as the Whitecaps were his first opponent after being named Interim Head Coach.
While Vancouver also had a rough start to the year—it took seven games for the ‘Caps to find a win. They are now on a four-game unbeaten streak. Sounds somewhat like the Rapids doesn’t it? To help put things in perspective, should the Rapids prevail and snag three points from today’s game, the Rapids will move into a tie with Vancouver for the 9th spot in the division and a point below the playoff line.
For Vancouver, injuries and international absences will be a hurdle in their way. As for the Rapids, many believe it will be the mentality. Will the 10 days off after losing to New Mexico United in the US Open Cup be a good thing? Or could the time off after a loss give room for doubts to creep in?
Typically, a little bit of rest does the players some good. We see it near the holidays and international breaks for other leagues around the world. When teams come back from breaks there are always a few stand-outs who found their stride after some proper reflection time. For the Rapids to have a short break after grinding the way they have since the start of May, it might do them a bit of good.
It may have also helped that Kortne Ford seems to have gotten his knee fixed for good, but he’s now officially out for the rest of the season. Deklan Wynne is also out with a foot injury. Sam Nicholson is the only other Rapids player listed as questionable with a hamstring concern. Vancouver has a turf pitch so it’s unlikely players with muscle injuries will make a forced start at BC Palace. The only other notable absence is Jonathan Lewis who is away with the USMNT for the Gold Cup.
On the brighter side of things, when these two teams met in May it may have been a tough time for the Rapids, but Kei Kamara did put two PKs past his former team and given his run of form, it’s quite possible that he scores again. We can’t forget that Nicolas Mezquida was a former Whitecap and he too has been finding his stride; so don’t rule him out tonight. On the other side, Zac MacMath has been telling Vancouver media how no one wants to beat the Rapids more than him. Good luck with that Zac.
Predicted Starting XI: Tim Howard, Keegan Rosenberry, Tommy Smith, Lalas Abubakar, Sam Vines, Jack Price, Cole Bassett, Andre Shinyashiki, Kellyn Acosta, Diego Rubio, Kei Kamara
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Brian Poeschel, Matthew Nelson
4th Official: Ramy Touchan
VAR: Ricardo Salazar
OUT: Kortne Ford (knee), Deklan Wynne (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: Sam Nicolson (hamstring)
Suspended after next caution: Kellyn Acosta (M), Diego Rubio (F)
International duty: Jonathan Lewis (M)
OUT: Joaquín Ardaiz (F) - left hamstring strain, Thomas Hasal (GK) - left shoulder sprain, Jasser Khmiri (D) - left knee injury, David Norman Jr. (M) - right foot surgery
QUESTIONABLE: Michael Baldisimo (M) - left ankle injury
Suspended after next caution: none
International duty: Maxime Crépeau (FK), Derek Cornelius (D), Doneil Henry (D), Russell Teibert (M), Lass Bangoura (M)
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Saturday, June 22nd at 8:00 p.m. MT
Venue: BC palace — Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
TV Information: AltitudeTV
Radio: 92.5 FM
Live Stream: ESPN+ (subscription required)
C38 Watch Parties: C38 Main Event is at Esters at Oneida Park (2201 Oneida St, Denver). There are watch parties at Blue Spruce Brewing in south Denver and Frolic Brewing in Westminster as well.