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Rapids Recap

If you weren't in attendance on Saturday for the Rapids victory over the Portland Timbers... well, I feel sorry for you. Because you missed out a fantastic night in Commerce City, Colorado! The atmosphere at DSG Park was electric, arguably the best of the season so far. The anticipation of a Jack Price free kick or corner was so much fun and contagious. It was a beautiful evening as it cooled down into the 50s for kickoff.

(Image: Nick Holmberg)

With a dominant 2-0 win the Rapids clinched a playoff birth. Both assists came from the Man of the Match, Braian Galvan. Lining up in his new spot this season at left wingback, the Argentine found space and tormented the Timbers defense all night. Diego Rubio and Dominque Badji played in a dual striker setup for the first time this season and they both got on the scoresheet. It was frustrating to break down a Portland team that was content just trying to possess the ball, sit deep and distrupt the flow of the game. Once the Rapids were able to break down the defense, it felt like the floodgates would open. Could have been 3-4 goals on the night as Bassett, Rubio, Trusty and other almost buried the game in the 2nd half.

(Image: Colorado Rapids)

With their 15th win of the season the Rapids tied a club record set in 2016. William Yarbrough made 4 saves on the night bringing his total up to 12 clean sheets this season. Good enough for 2nd in MLS currently. Fun side note, that is the 3rd straight season Colorado has clinched the playoffs against the Timbers (and shut them out each time). The Timbers streak of scoring in 20 straight games also came to an end on Saturday night. Braian Galvan and Auston Trusty earned MLS Team of the Week honors as well.

(Image: Colorado Rapids)

Head Coach Robin Fraser had this to say following the game; "I was really proud of the approach that we had tonight. As we get closer to the playoffs, we've talked about the fact that concentration, discipline becomes more and more important as we finish the year and try to win something. It was a professional performance."

(Image: Colorado Rapids)

On to New England

Now that a spot in the playoffs is guaranteed it's all about finishing as high as possible to earn more home games in the playoffs. There haven't been many games between Eastern and Western Conference foes this season because of the pandemic. New England have only faced FC Dallas in the West this season, in which they lost 2-1.

The New England Revolution have been dominant this season and already won the Supporters Shield. In their last outing against Orlando City they rested most of their starters. However, Bruce Arena brought on the likes of Gil, Buchanan, Bou and Buksa to earn a 2-2 draw. We already know that Tajon Buchanan is leaving for Belgium at the end of the season but it would be shocking if he's the only player to depart in the offseason. Regardless, it is hard to predict whether the Revs will start these same players who were rested or if they in fact get the start on Wednesday.

New England does play on a turf field therefore it'd be a surprise to see Keegan Rosenberry or Younes Namli see any time on the field (they were both listed as OUT due to injury against Portland). Fraser could be keeping an eye on Sunday's matchup vs Western Conference opponent Houston Dynamo to determine who to start in this game. However, I can safely say that we all want to see the best players for the Revs and the Rapids face off against each other on Wednesday night. A true test of some of the best teams in MLS. Which, by the way, the Rapids have more points, wins and road wins than any Eastern Conference team the Revs have faced this season. It really isn't biased to say that this is one of the best matchups of the season.

Tactics and Predicted XI

This is an opportunity to put out the strongest starting eleven possible. I expect that we'll retain our 532 formation and shape. Lucas Esteves could return to the starting lineup and will push forward as we overload the left wing. We have seen Michael Barrios rested quite a bit recently without starting since 10/3 against Seattle. That's four straight games coming in off the bench and I don't think that trend will continue. Kaye and Acosta are given freedom to move forward and occupy the left and right central channels. This helps push the team forward and link up play between the strikers, the midfielders and the wingbacks. Typically one of the two players are released while the other helps Price cover deep. Once again, this isn't necessarily new but always something to keep an eye on. I expect this to be an open, exciting game. Until next time, stay safe out there soccer fans! And finally, here's how I think the lineup will look on Wednesday night:

New England Revolution vs Colorado Rapids

5pm MT 10/27/21

ESPN + out of market

Altitude Sports on Direct TV and AT&T Now

Altitude Sports Radio hosted by Connor Cape online, 92.5FM or 950AM

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