ExLink - 06/13/18 - COLvCHI

Colorado Rapids vs. Chicago Fire
2018 MLS Regular Season - Week 16

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park — Commerce City
June 13 - 9 pm ET

Eight is definitely enough for the Colorado Rapids, who are hoping to end a franchise-worst losing streak on Wednesday night and head into the World Cup break on a high when they host a Chicago Fire team that has lost just one of their last four games and drew the New England Revolution, 1-1, on Saturday.

Since the turn of the century, the Rapids are 8-1-7 in league home matches against the Fire – the lone loss coming in 2009, per Opta.

Colorado Rapids

Goals by Tomas Martinez and Mauro Manotas (PK) six minutes apart late in the first half cooked Colorado, 2-0, Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.

For the Rapids (2-9-2), though, their biggest wounds were self-inflicted with a pair of blunders by Johan Blomberg and a needless red card by Yannick Boli that reduced the visitors to 10 men for the entire second half.

“We were in a hole in the first half and we’ve had some conversations with the referees about those decisions, we’ve heard mixed messages,” head coach Anthony Hudson said. “I certainly think the first one is a hand ball and the sending off is disappointing because I think the whistle should have been blown earlier for the free kick. The biggest thing is we went down to 10 men and we are on a poor run, a terrible run, but what is unbelievable is the players are absolutely giving everything.”

  • Suspended: F - Yannick Boli
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Kortne Ford (left MCL sprain), D - Axel Sjoberg (concussion)

Projected Starting XI
(5-4-1, right to left)
GK: Tim Howard — Marlon Hairston, Deklan Wynne, Danny Wilson, Tommy Smith, Sam Nicholson — Johan Blomberg, Michael Azira, Jack Price, Joe Mason — Dominique Badji

  • Notes: Jack Price has received six yellow cards this season, the most in MLS. Only six players had 10 or more yellow cards in 2017. … The Rapids’ franchise-record losing streak of eight games is tied for the second-longest league losing streak since the start of 2010. They have conceded multiple goals in seven of those eight games.

Chicago Fire

After defeating the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend, Chicago (5-7-3) were eight minutes from a second consecutive win and moving up the Eastern Conference standings, but Teal Bunbury continued on his tear and the Fire were left to settle for a 1-1 draw at home Saturday night.

Bastian Schweinsteiger put the hosts in front on 63 minutes, but a blunder by an otherwise solid Richard Sanchez led to Bunbury’s late equalizer.

“It's painful because I think the majority of the time we controlled the game, not always with the ball, but we controlled in our defensive shape sometimes,”  head coach Veljko Paunovic said. “All the effort and the matchups we had on the different positions on the field were great. I think [it was a] huge, huge performance from the team and it hurts a lot when you, obviously, drop two points this way, but it happens and that's part of the game.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Kevin Ellis, D - Johan Kappelhof
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), F - Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), D - Matt Polster (MCL surgery), GK - Patrick McLain (hamstring injury); QUESTIONABLE: M - Jon Bakero (right ankle injury), F - Elliot Collier (left gastroc injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Richard Sanchez — Kevin Ellis, Johan Kappelhoff, Brandon Vincent, Jorge Corrales — Mo Adams, Dax McCarty, Bastian Schweinsteiger — Aleksandar Katai, Nemanja Nikolic, Luis  Solignac

  • Notes: Aleksandar Katai (23 chances created, 35 take-ons) is one of 10 players with 20+ chances created and 30+ successful take-ons this season. … Chicago have won one of their last four road games (2L-1D), conceding multiple goals in three of the four matches.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Colorado Rapids 14 wins, 52 goals … Chicago Fire 19 wins, 66 goals … 9 draws
  • At Colorado: Rapids 10 wins, 32 goals … Fire 3 wins, 21 goals … 7 draws
  • Last meeting at Colorado: Colorado Rapids 2, Chicago Fire 1 (June 18, 2016)


Referee: JC Rivero
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Kyle Longville
4th Official: Nima Saghafi
VAR: Younes Marrakech