It’s the final home game of the season and once again Real Salt Lake comes to town to add intensity to the match. Seasons past we have seen the bad guys come in and take the Rapids hopes of silverware and/or playoffs and though this season hasn’t had much to hope for; today we can hope to give RSL a dose of their own medicine.
The Rapids are 9-5-5 against RSL when taking them on at home, despite those 9 wins; many C38 members remember the losses faced at the end of the season. Today the Rapids look to play spoiler once more, with an added dose of “eff you” as they look to keep their rivals from making the playoffs.
As for everything else regarding today’s match-up, there really isn’t much of a concern. It’s do-or die for the bad guys, as for the rapids, it’s all about preparation. Maybe there have been games in the past where the guys may not have been as prepared as they should have been, but something tells me that has changed regarding this game.
Josh Gatt’s post game comments after Dallas will show us that even a player new to the league, and team (this season) knows what this rivalry is about and what is at stake; even if we have no chance at keeping the trophy home.
Gatt stated that there is no way they can let RSL come here and beat them in order to make the playoffs, the Rapids as a whole will be looking to “take that completely from them”. The Voice of C38 crew discussed this on the cast, and then the Rapids twitter posted about it the following day. If anything, Gatt is a guy we need to keep in the locker room and on the training pitch. Dude has a good head on his shoulders, a few more goals and he may just become a finisher.
As for the bad guys, Marcelo Silva is suspended for this game. This may be the last time the fans can heckle Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman. Both are nearing that retirement age and should the team dip out of the playoffs that may be what a guy needs in order to help make his decision on whether or not to hang up the boots or not.
Jared Watts is still sitting out because MLS decided his red card wasn’t enough, there is a good chance Luis Gil may get the call up to play in Watts place. Michael Azira is not 100%, but he will be at the tailgate today, so stop by for a chance to meet this year’s Iron Man.
We should expect to see the same lineup that we saw against Dallas, save for Tim Howard, since he is back it would be safe to assume he will also return to his post between the sticks.
Kickoff is at 5:30, which means the tailgate is kicking off at 2:00. What’s more important is that you get there early, the Azira interview is expected to happen around 4. The tailgate is also closing down a little earlier normal to allow our hard working tailgate crew to get inside and see the final Tifo of the year.
Predicted starting XI: Howard, Hairston, Ford, Sjoberg, Miller, Boateng, Gil, Aigner, Saied, Gatt, Badji