Christian Ramirez - Minnesota United FC - Looking upfield
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Minnesota United FC vs. Colorado Rapids | 2017 MLS Match Preview

Minnesota United vs. Colorado Rapids
2017 MLS Regular Season
TCF Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, Minn.
Sunday, April 23 – 6 pm ET

Minnesota United and the Colorado Rapids sit at the bottom of the Western Conference, but they will both have a glorious chance to move up the standings when they square off in Week 8's final bout.

Minnesota will welcome Colorado to town on Sunday evening, and both clubs will be in search of a much-needed victory at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The West cellar dwellers have each picked up just one win to this point in the season, and need to prevail in order to avoid falling further behind the pack. With neither side being a powerhouse, Minnesota and Colorado could come out more aggressively than they have been in recent weeks, making for a potentially very entertaining affair.

Minnesota United

Minnesota may not have won last week, but they should still have picked up some confidence after coming from a pair of goals down to tie the Houston Dynamo, 2-2, on the road. Christian Ramirez started the comeback with a strike shortly after halftime, his impressive fifth tally of the season, and Johan Venegas netted the equalizer before the hour-mark to give the expansion side a draw.

Now, Minnesota United will try and take the momentum gained from that result into this weekend's final bout against the offensively-challenged Rapids. Minnesota were also victorious in their last home game, so they will have plenty to be positive about as they head into this match looking for their second win of the season.

“We’ve just got to put together 90 minutes,” Ramirez said in a statement. “[Against Houston], we put together a good 60, with a lull for both goals, and that’s stuff that we have to clean up. But as we get more time together and incorporate the guys who we just got, those results will turn our way.”

  • Suspended: NONE
  • Int’l Duty: NONE
  • On Loan: D Joe Greenspan (Pittsburgh Riverhounds through May)
  • Injury Report: OUT – M Bernando Anor (left lower leg injury), M Thomas de Villardi (left Achilles) QUESTIONABLE – Bobby Shuttleworth (concussion), Rasmus Schuller (hip flexor)

Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Bobby Shuttleworth – Jerome Thiesson, Brent Kallman, Francisco Calvo, Marc Burch – Collen Warner, Sam Cronin – Kevin Molino, Johan Venegas, Rasmus Schuller – Christian Ramirez

Colorado Rapids

Colorado looked to be on their way to victory at home, but a late red card to Jared Watts allowed Real Salt Lake to score an equalizer via a penalty kick before finding another late goal that handed Pablo Mastroeni's side a 2-1 defeat.

“It’s an emotional game. We left it for too late,” Mastroeni said after the match. “I think it’s everything. You can’t put a finger on it. Nothing happens in isolation. There’s 22 human beings with three referees that are throwing emotions into this little ball and it’s moving around the field. It’s crazy. It is a game of emotion and that’s why two goals were conceded in the last five minutes.”

In order to rebound on the road, the Rapids will need to find a way to navigate the number of losses they have in their back line. In addition to Watts being out through suspension, starting goalkeeper Tim Howard is also out because of a ban while intimidating center back Axel Sjoberg is nursing an injury. Even if the defense holds firm, Colorado need to get their attack playing at a higher level in order to have a shot at picking up maximum points.

  • Suspended: GK – Tim Howard (Disciplinary Committee decision), D – Jared Watts (Red card)
  • Int’l Duty: NONE
  • Injury Report: OUT: D – Axel Sjoberg (hamstring), Bismark Adjei-Boateng (back); QUESTIONABLE: M – Dillon Serna (calf injury)

Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath – Eric Miller, Bobby Burling, Kortne Ford, Mekeil Williams – Micheal Azira, Mohammed Saeid – Marlon Hairston, Dillon Powers, Dominique Badji – Kevin Doyle

All-Time Series

This is the second meeting between the two clubs, following their 2-2 draw at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, on March 18.


Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: CJ Morgante, Danny Thornberry
Fourth Official: Drew Fischer