Pre-Game: @ MNUFC


Some of us would call today’s match between the Colorado Rapids and Minnesota United FC a revenge match.  Many of us believe the 2-2 tie should not have happened and when you look at MNUFC’s results since then it leads us to believe there is something missing with our team.
To make matters worse the Rapids are without Nana Boateng (back) for roughly four months.  Tim Howard will be sitting for this game, and the next.  Jared Watts has to sit this one out for the red card last week and Dillon Serna still isn’t 100%.  
Adding all those tangibles up still doesn’t give us the fan much confidence leading into today’s game.  The Rapids will be forced to use the lineup that fell apart against RSL and now they have to play on a turf pitch that is meant for college throwball. 
   
The burgundy boys have yet to do well on the road this season posting a 0-2 record so far.  Considering the Rapids schedule is loaded with home games at the front, it would be a good thing if they can get a point or three today.  It doesn’t help things when you consider that since the Rapids tied MNUFC, they have lost both their games.  Whereas MNUFC has gone on to 1-2-1 record. Not stellar by any means, but they also haven’t been blown off the pitch like they did at the beginning of the season.
Killer instinct is something that I’ve felt this team has lacked, not just this season after all the last time the Rapids won by a large margin (3 or more goals) was in 2015. Pablo was serving a suspension and Claudio Lopez stepped in, something I personally think should not be forgotten.  Today is the last time we will see MNUFC, an expansion team remind you and with just one point gathered from the match last month, three points today seems vital. 
Now that we got the negative stuff out of the way, it was nice to hear that former Rapids Marc Burch took time out of his day to greet his former teammates at the hotel in Minneapolis/St. Paul.   Burch was held out of training earlier in the week for precautionary measures, but it sounds like he will be expected to play.  
Kevin Doyle is on a two game scoring streak, any striker will tell you that once you get one in, the rest will come a bit easier.  Gashi got his first goal in April (away) last year; we can only hope he finds his streak today.  Marlon Hairston is one of three Rapids to have played in every game so far, he was the assist leader last year, and is on pace to be again this year. 
In a post training video interview Coach Pablo talked about the duo of Mohammed Saeid and Michael Azira, expecting good things from those two.  From what we saw against RSL last week, we can expect a bit more movement in the midfield, but like Nana and Azira, there will be some kinks as they get used to playing with each other. 
Earlier in the week some training drills would have you think that Josh Gatt could get the start, and after his nearly 5 minute performance last week, he left the fans curious as to what he can bring to the table.  A day later though and he was training on the side with a recovering Dillon Serna. There are two possible scenarios here, first is that Gatt picked up a lil something and was held out of full contact drills.  Or, the two of them were working together as they could be a duo you don’t want to mess with.  Gatt did travel to Minnesota so regardless on his physical condition he is at least available for selection.
The Rapids have a lot going against them today, but this team has shown that they do their best when the odds are stacked up.  If the underdog status is what they need to bag three points; then let them be the underdog, after all we all know major TV networks will always see the Rapids as the little guy. 
It’s a 4pm kickoff on Altitude TV.  
C38 will be invading the Brittish Bulldog if you feel the need to get out of the house and see some friends.  
Predicted Starting XI: MacMath, Miller, Ford, Burling, Williams.  Azira, Saeid, Hairston, Gashi, Badji, Doyle. 

Source: Blog Post

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