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Starting XI & Game Preview: New York Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids

SOCCER: AUG 21 MLS - New York Red Bulls at DC United Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A new era begins once again for the Colorado Rapids as they travel east to face the New York Red Bulls. Newly appointed Head Coach Robin Fraser was once an assistant there and even made a comment in his first presser that after working with Thierry Henry he can pretty much work with anybody. Tim Howard has some history in New Jersey as well. Before they were the Red Bulls and before the beard, they were the Metro Stars, which is the team he started his career with.

The Red Bulls lost to NYCFC last week at Yankee stadium and will be looking to rebound at home tonight. NYRB sit in 4th in the east with a two-point edge on DC United; a Rapids win would hinder things in the east while bringing them within a point from Houston.

The mindset of Rapids fan is all over the place, some would say the season is a wash while others will insist on entertaining an attempt at the playoffs. There are 7 games left and Coach said they will be taking them one-by-one, so shall we.

In this game we see the return of the 3-5-2. It was a favorite formation for Toronto FC and Coach Fraser said that he likes our wingers. He believes there are not many teams who have guys who are speedy and can take players on one-on-one—a subtle hat tip to Sam Nicolson at the very least. One other reason for a formation change is the fact that the Rapids are without three key players due to various card related issues: Kellyn Acosta, Lalas Abubakar, and Kei Kamara. Both Diego Rubio and Danny Wilson are one card away from having to sit.

One other thing to take note of is that the 4th official is fan favorite Baldomero Toledo. He may not be the center ref but I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t an moment where this official is not involved. The Rapids are 7-10-4 overall when facing New York in New Jersey.

The feeling at training was like pre-season. Everyone was on a clean slate; vibes were up, and the intensity was there. It’s a good mentality to have when you are the away team.

Starting XI:

Officials

Referee: Rubiel Vazquez

Assistant Referees: Brian Dunn, Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein

4th Official: Baldomero Toledo

VAR: Jon Freemon

Colorado

OUT: Kortne Ford (knee), Deklan Wynne (foot)

QUESTIONABLE: none

Suspended: Kellyn Acosta (M), Kei Kamara (F), Lalas Abubakar (D)

Suspended after next caution: Diego Rubio (F), Danny Wilson (M)

New York

OUT: Florian Valot (M) - torn ACL

QUESTIONABLE: Brian White (F) - ankle injury

Suspended: None

Suspended after next caution: Kyle Duncan (D), Tim Parker (D), Amro Tarek (D), Kemar Lawrence (D)

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Saturday, August 31st at 5 p.m. MST

Venue: Red Bull Arena — Harrison, NJ

TV Information: AltitudeTV

Radio: 92.5 FM

Live Stream: ESPN+ (subscription required)

C38 Watch Party: Frolic Brewing