by Brendan Wyatt
The Rapids are back at home to take on Toronto FC in their only league match of 2018. It’s rumored that TFC won’t be going into this match with their best foot forward; the Toronto Sun reported that half the starting XI was out due to injury or fatigue. Maybe the next time we play TFC, both teams will have their best XI on the pitch.
Rapids coach Anthony Hudson has also commented on how Toronto can easily swap players and it not really change the strength of TFC. Toronto’s depth is what sets them apart from many of the other teams in this league. While Toronto may shift their focus on the CCL final that does not mean it will be an easy go for the burgundy boys.
The Rapids are 6-8-2 all-time against TFC in league play, 5 of the 6 wins came at Dicks Sporting Goods Park. There is also a 6 game home unbeaten streak going for the Rapids as well; let us recall the streak of 2016 and where that put us in the standings by the end of the year.
If you are still looking for consistency in the starting XI from the Rapids you will have to wait a little more. Danny Wilson is out for at least another week; Enter Axel back in the starting lineup. Enzo Martinez is listed as questionable and didn’t train fully at times this week; plug in Nana Boateng.
On a positive note, articles and tweets have confirmed Shkelzen Gashi is 100% and available for selection. The question on everyone’s mind is; if he doesn’t start how do I react? Could this be the week that Yannick Boli makes his debut, will it be a start, or a sub for Joe Mason come the 70th minute?
The Rapids firepower is starting to show itself; Dom Badji’s hatty has the team tied for most goals in a match over the past three seasons. It should also be noted that Edgar Castillo’s had a game where he had seven tackles and seven interceptions; that was not done by anyone at all last year.
Things are coming together; the offense is starting to produce (7 GF) while the defense is beginning to lock things down averaging 1.7 goals a game. The next step now is hanging on to a lead in the closing minutes of the game; seeing as the Rapids have shown us progression it would be a nice show for the fans to not only keep the lead but to show us that killer instinct.
Predicted starting XI: Tim Howard, Deklan Wynne, Axel Sjoberg, Tommy Smith, Kip Colvey, Nana Boateng, Jack Price, Johan Blomberg, Edgar Castillo, Dom Badji, Joe Mason.