Pre-Game: Colorado Rapids v Sporting KC

by Brendan Wyatt

Every year I get asked if I feel like the schedule makers at MLS HQ had it in for the Rapids.  This year is no different having two bye weeks in the first month of the season.  Having to wait to play your first game at home until the fourth week of the season doesn’t help either.  Playing just one game so far this season is also a bit of a gut punch when the opponent has had three more games to find their feet.

The Rapids will take on Sporting KC today and while the Rapids have had SKC’s number the last few times at home, Sporting has bagged seven – seven I say goals in the last two games.  Sporting did drop their first game though, so on the flip side the Rapids who lost their first game could show us some of that attack we’ve been hearing about.

By the numbers the Rapids have the edge on Sporting at home going 18-5-8, with an overall record of 23-24-13.  For those looking for more reasons to call this match up a rivalry the win loss record between them is just one game.  The Rapids are also 1-1-1 when playing Sporting KC in March.  Tonight’s game could be another epic finish; between the 76-90th minutes both teams have scored more than 25 goals against each other, Colorado with 26, Sporting with 29.

The Rapids will be most likely without the services of Shkelzen Gashi and Stefan Aigner for one more week.  Both were training, but sometimes you can tell who is ready and who is not.  A lot can happen in a day or two and what I saw earlier in the week may not be what we see line up just before kickoff.   

Joe Mason is expected to make his debut.  The newly acquired striker also chose to don #10… some of us fear the curse of El Pibe. Will Mason be the next #10 that dazzles us with glorious goals, or will he be like many of the others past and slowly drain us of hope?   Wearing the number ten is a big responsibility that comes with huge expectations, Joe has to know what’s expected of him and to take that on takes a pair.

With this game being the season opener for the Rapids, not only will the game itself be big, but so will the tailgate.  Sporting fans are expected to be showing up in hundreds and unlike other sports and some teams we welcome our opponents to come kick it at our tailgate (except RSL).  What C38 has done organically over the years to enhance the tailgate experience can’t be replicated and it is an experience I highly recommend.  Not only that, but a donation that costs less than a drink at 1876 will get you unlimited craft beer and really good food; today’s BBQ took two days to smoke.

No matter how you plan on watching the game I expect a good show. Considering Sporting KC is firing on all cylinders and Colorado is amped up and ready to get the season going like a windup toy ready to be let go.

Predicted starting XI: Tim Howard, Deklan Wynne, Danny Wilson, Jared Watts, Marlon Hairston, Johan Blomberg, Jack Price, Enzo Martinez, Edgar Castillo, Joe Mason, Dom Badji. 

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