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Game 32: We’re heading to Kansas

The Rapids take on a struggling Sporting Kansas City this weekend.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City has been in a downward spiral in 2019. The team that once seemed so dominant in the last few years now seems like almost a joke. Last weekend they got absolutely clowned on by LA Galaxy as they suffered an incredible 7-2 loss at home. As the Colorado Rapids travel to Kansas to pay our I-70 rivals a visit, are we capable of handing them the same beatdown?

A lot has happened since we played SKC earlier this season. Sporting hasn’t had a lot of high-profile moves, although they did sell Kelyn Rowe to Real Salt Lake, proving once and for all that the Rapids have unquestionably gotten the best deal out of the Castillo-Rowe-Rubio trade.

The other big move also involved our team. Yeah, you remember Benny Feilhaber?

He was only 10 games into his contract with the Rapids when he was traded back to his beloved SKC. He claimed at the time that he wanted to “be playing on a team that’s competitive and fighting for championships.” In the meantime, the run of form has been spectacularly different between the two teams.

Ten games into the season, the Rapids had gotten only two results. Both draws and one of them was against SKC at home. SKC had a slightly better record: two wins, four ties and three losses for a total of ten points with a ppg of 1.1. Since then, SKC has gone for eight wins, 10 losses, and three ties for 24 points and a ppg of 1.28, averaging to their current standing of 37 points and 1.23 ppg.

Over that same time, the Rapids initially had eight losses and two ties for two points over 10 games and a 0.2 ppg. Since then? Ten wins, four ties, and seven losses for 34 points and a ppg of 1.61. See what I’m getting at here?

SKC is playing in a 4-1-4-1 formation, with long-time keeper Tim Melia in goal. In the back, they have Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, two long-time KC and USMNT players who are practically synonymous with the team. In the middle, they have DP Felipe Gutiérrez, and up top they have Johnny Russell and Erik Hurtado.

They have put in 44 goals over the season, but have allowed 54. Yes, the once incredible defense of Kansas City is no more. Now, they stand as one of the worst defenses in the league, with a worse differential than the Rapids. I’d expect this game to be a multi-goal game for Colorado.

It is hard to say where both teams would have ended up without the Feilhaber trade, but needless to say, in the interim time the Rapids have looked like the much better team. With there being a fairly significant six-point gap between SKC and the nearest playoff spot, it is all but guaranteed that they will be missing out on the playoffs. It is our duty now to kick them while they are down, secure a win and climb over them in the rankings.