Pre-game: @ Houston Dynamo
By: Colin Peterson
The Rapids are headed to a hurricane-stricken Houston for their fourth away game in a row. Things don’t necessarily look very good for us going in. Houston, along with SKC and Toronto have yet to be defeated at home. The Rapids, on the other hand, have yet to win on the road. Ironically, the last time we did get 3 points on the road was last year in October, when we beat Houston. We put up 3 against their 2. Now, the last home win we’ve had was also against Houston, where we won 3-1 at home on the July 1st game. Houston has been in a slight slump, tying their rivals Dallas on August 23rd, with only one other win in the previous four games. They had a game scheduled against SKC, but due to the, to put it mildly, inclement weather, it has been delayed. They are now coming out of the longest gap between games in the entire 2017 MLS season. It would be cool to see us pull a win out of our hat here, but hopes aren’t very high.
That’s not to say both teams don’t have anything to fight for. The Rapids are playing to show that there is still going to be a fight in them the rest of the season. We’re out of the running for any hardware, but now we have to fight to prove that we aren’t going to go down in history as the worst year the Rapids have ever had. Getting even a single point will also put us above the worst away record in MLS history. Meanwhile, Houston sits barely above the hazy line of playoffs. Them securing what they probably see as an easy 3 points would help them lock down a playoff spot. Plus, on a personal note, the team has had to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The Dynamo, along with their NWSL counterparts, the Dash, opened up the stadium as a collection and storage center for supplies and donations for the Harvey relief. After a terrifying time, the people of Houston deserve to get away from it all, and for once, I’m not sure the Rapids should even be looking for a win here.
Houston has no one suspended, or out on international duty. They do have two people out due to injuries, George Malki ( and torn ACL), and Charlie Ward (leg). Similarly, we’ve got no one suspended, and both Williams and Howard are back from international duty. But, Bobby Burling is still listed as questionable with his foot injury, and Kevin Doyle is out due to concussion protocol.
We’ve got a 6:30 PM kickoff along with a viewing party at Station 26 in Denver.
Predicted Starting XI, 4-3-3 left to right:
Shkelzen Gashi, Dom Badji, Stefan Aigner
Mo Saeid, Michael Azira, Nana Boateng
Mekeil Williams, Axel Sjoberg, Eric Miller, Marlon Hairston