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Downstream Game 16: Home against Sporting Kansas City

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Sporting Kansas City Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City Stats

2021 Record: 10-4-3 WLT, 33 points for 1.94 PPG

Goals: 33 for, 20 allowed, +13 differential

Power Rankings: SKC #3 (-1), Rapids #7 (+3)

Last Result: 1-4 win against LAFC

Aight. Good result for the Colorado Rapids against Austin FC last weekend. A win on the road is always nice, and now that the USMNT is done with the Gold Cup, reinforcements are on their way. But, because nothing is ever fair, we’re also going up against the red-hot Sporting Kansas City.

Less than two months ago, the Rapids went into SKC territory and walked away with a big loss. Not entirely surprising, since SKC was and still is one of the best teams in the league. They have been duking it out with the Seattle Sounders to get the top spot in the Western Conference and with the New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference for the Supporters’ Shield. It will likely come down to the last few games of the season to decide who is the true best of the best, but in the meantime, SKC are certainly in contention. They’ll be coming off of a midweek road trip against LAFC, which means we’ll have the advantage rest-wise; however, they also went up by 3 goals against LAFC inside of 36 minutes. They absolutely devastated the LA side — and on the road. The Revs might have the advantage points-wise, but SKC very well might be the best team in the league.

Both teams will be re-stocking players with Alan Pulido returning to SKC, while Jonathan Lewis and Kellyn Acosta are returning to Colorado after their victory at the Gold Cup. We will also be getting Mark-Anthony Kaye, who was with Canada during their Gold Cup run, and the club re-signed forward Dominique Badji last week.

Both teams also have players who are on their way to Europe. SKC sold their star midfielder, Gianluca Busio, to Venezia in Serie A for a record fee. Meanwhile, our own Sam Vines is off to Royal Antwerp in Belgium. We also signed Lucas Esteves on loan from Palmeiras, but it might be too early to see him take the field. Kaye, however, I would expect to probably start, or at the least make a substitute appearance.

The last game against SKC didn’t go well. That being said, things should go better this time. We’re at home, more rest, players coming back. I’m feeling… well, not exactly confident in three points, but it is certainly possible. We just can’t afford to give them one ounce of slack. Punishment came swift and brutally against LAFC, and we can’t let that happen. Let’s go get three points and make a statement win against the best the Western Conference has to offer.