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Downstream Game 20: Away vs SKC

Colorado Rapids v Sporting Kansas City Photo by Fernando Leon/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Sporting Kansas City Stats

2021 Record: 11-4-6 WLT, 39 points for 1.86 PPG

Goals: 36 for, 21 allowed, +15 differential

Power Rankings: SKC #3 (-), Rapids #4 (+2)

Last Result: 0-0 tie against Minnesota United

Sporting Kansas City again. Anyone else feel like this is getting a bit stale? I mean, it felt like only yesterday when the Colorado Rapids were playing them at home. Things like “time” and “history” say that it was actually three whole weeks ago, but that certainly isn’t what it feels like.

In short, not much has changed for SKC since then. The first time, we lost badly against them on the road. The second time, we actually outplayed them for the most part, and the result definitely felt like two points lost rather than a point earned. The brutal 0-0 draw at home certainly felt like a game that we could have won, and while anyone could say that there’s the home field advantage and all that, it doesn’t change the fact that we could have gotten three points that night.

Since then, the Rapids have been on a tear, while SKC has done only pretty well. They beat Dallas on the road, but had to have Daniel Salloi bail them out with a late goal against Portland to rescue a point at home, followed by a scoreless tie against Minnesota United. That’s still really good, but given SKC’s record so far, the fans certainly feel like they have dropped four points rather than earning two. Whether a neutral observer would agree, I’m not sure, but it is certainly a comparative low compared to the great season the team has had otherwise.

After a week’s worth of rest the Rapids are flying high. We got great results against Houston and the Galaxy, and managed to keep our RMC hopes alive with a win against RSL. At any time in the season, getting nine from two road games and a rivalry game is incredibly impressive. We had three games, two on the road, and nine out of nine points from those games. It feels dang good to be supporting burgundy right now,

Unfortunately, the Rapids are going to be up against a major challenge this week. Both teams will be at give or take maximum capability, with minimal injuries and the callups to national teams not quite kicking in. The Rapids have a chance to even the record, with a loss on the road and a tie at home. A victory against SKC would be absolutely HUGE at this point in the season. We would beat them in the standpoints on points and still have two games in hand against them, and allow us to overtake Seattle on points per game for first in the West.

The way the Rapids have played the last few weeks, this is absolutely a winnable game. That isn’t to say that the game is a guaranteed victory, as I firmly believe there is no such thing. But if we play with the confidence and intensity we’ve seen from the last few weeks, this weekend’s matchup against SKC could prove to be an all-time classic and a season-defining victory.