Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids | 2018 MLS Match Preview

ExLink - 05/05/18 - SKCvCOL

Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 10
Children’s Mercy Park — Kansas City
May 5 – 8:30 pm ET
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After their seven-match unbeaten streak came to an end following a 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution, Sporting Kansas City are hoping to avoid a first losing streak of the year against a Colorado Rapids team that has dropped two straight games, including a 2-1 result at home to Orlando City SC.

Six of the last eight meetings between the two clubs have ended in Colorado victories, along with one Sporting victory and one draw. Their 2-2 draw on March 28 was the first time both times have scored multiple goals in the same match since 2014.

Sporting Kansas City   

Sporting (5-2-2) went to Gillette Stadium as one of the hottest teams in MLS and left, like many opponents do, with an unbeaten streak snapped. It was just the second time this season SKC failed to score a goal — the other was a season-opening 2-0 loss to NYCFC.

Sporting remain atop the Western Conference standings with 17 points, two points clear of surging LAFC, but Peter Vermes wasn’t very happy about the result and didn’t find the match very aesthetically pleasing.

“I think it wasn’t a good game. I don’t think it was a good game to watch. It was like car crashes all over the field,” he said after the game. “At some point, I thought I was maybe watching a tennis match a little bit because the ball was in the air so much. I don’t think it was a good game from that perspective, but I don’t think any team really did anything to warrant three points. At the end, of the day it’s probably a 0-0 game and that’s probably where it would have ended off.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Felipe Gutierrez (sports hernia surgery), GK - Adrian Zendejas (head injury); QUESTIONABLE: M - Gerso Fernandes (thigh contusion)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Tim Melia — Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Jimmy Medranda — Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sanchez, Yohan Croizet — Johnny Russell, Khiry Shelton, Daniel Salloi

  • Notes: Johnny Russell is one of three players that have scored multiple goals this season with both his left and right foot. … Sporting are unbeaten in their last four home matches (3W-1D), outscoring opponents 12-4 in that time.

Colorado Rapids

Colorado (2-3-2) raced out to an early lead on Dominique Badji’s fifth goal of the season, but the Rapids conceded twice after halftime as Cristian Higuita and Yoshi Yotun (penalty kick) helped lift red-hot Orlando City to their fifth straight win.

Now, Colorado have to prepare for another difficult opponent that cooled off slightly in Foxborough last weekend in the cauldron that is Children's Mercy Park. 

“It’s a massive test for us because there are such a good team,” Colorado coach Anthony Hudson said of Sporting Kansas City. “I think what we’re finding is that in all the games now is that we’re in every game … We are working very hard to create a mentality here.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Jack Price
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Kortne Ford (left MCL sprain), D - Marlon Hairston (right knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: M - Nana Boateng (concussion)

Projected Starting XI
(3-5-2, right to left)
GK: Tim Howard — Deklan Wynne, Danny Wilson, Tommy Smith — Kip Colvey, Enzo Martinez, Jack Price, Shkelzen Gashi, Edgar Castillo — Joe Mason, Dominique Badji

  • Notes: Last weekend, Enzo Martinez became the 12th Colorado Rapids player since 2010 to record 1+ assist and win 4+ tackles in the same regular season MLS match. … The Rapids have lost 17 of their last 21 league road games (1W-3D), averaging 0.4 goals per game in that time. They have not scored multiple goals in an away game since a 3-2 win over Houston on Oct. 8, 2016.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Sporting Kansas City 24 wins, 97 goals … Colorado Rapids 23 wins, 80 goals … 13 ties
  • At Kansas City: Sporting 19 wins, 61 goals … Rapids 5 wins, 30 goals … 5 ties
  • Last meeting at Kansas City: Sporting Kansas City 3, Colorado Rapids 1 (April 9, 2017)


Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Peter Balciunas, Felicia Mariscal
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr