The Colorado Rapids visit Austin FC where they look for their second straight victory at Q2 Stadium. It's obviously been a rough start to the season for Colorado with three losses and one tie. Only one goal scored thus far and the news of Jack Price's injury made matters worse (Jack is out for the season with an Achilles injury). Here's a quick rundown of the key talking points and what to expect in this weekend's action.
· Diego Rubio and Darren Yapi are both out on international duty as they represent the Chilean national team and the US U20 national teams respectively.
· Will they change things tactically? Price didn't staart a game before his injury anyways, so it's likely more of the same in central midfield. Cole Bassett did allude to the fact that he could be asked to drop deeper however. However, it does appear they already have a similar player in Irishman Connor Ronan. He's been outstanding so far this season and will continue to play a major role in dictating the game.
· Without Rubio or Yapi available, the expectation is the Kevin Cabral starts at striker. This is an ongoing experiment where Jon Lewis and Calvin Harris are the only other options. Harris hasn't seen any first team action yet however.
(Image: Colorado Rapids)
· Austin is missing 7 players on international duty. Coming off arguably the biggest CONCACAF Champions League upset ever and a loss to rivals Houston Dynamo.
· The centerback position for Austin is a huge question mark. They've signed Serbian Aleksandar Radovanovic on loan from Belgian side KV Kortrijk this week. Alex Ring has filled in at centerback while Kipp Keller seems unlikely to see action this weekend following recent poor performances (capped off with the blind back pass that led to a St Louis City goal). Leo Vaisanen is essentially a lock at CB and the new signing, Radovanovic will likely get thrown right into the mix.
This week Drew Moor shared his thoughts, saying “If you’re gonna catch Austin, this is a good time. It could be a good recipe for the Rapids”.
The Rapids had over 60% possession in their recent loss to Minnesota United. They've created lots of good chances but haven't finished them off. I can hear Rapids fans right yelling "Hey we've heard this before!". Indeed you have. Hopefully this changes. And fast. The Burgundy Boys have to be clinical in front of goal. It's a next man up mentality with their backs against the wall. We have heard Head Coach Robin Fraser talk about character within this team and it's time to show it. Picking up three points on the road in Texas would launch them out of the bottom of the standings and on the path to recovery.
An earlier kickoff this week, 6:30pm MT, on Apple TV. Adrian Healey and Cobi Jones will be on the mic. The league wide pregame show starts at 5:30pm MT, MLS 360.