ExLink - 04/29/18 - COLvORL

Colorado Rapids vs. Orlando City SC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Colorado Rapids vs. Orlando City SC
2018 MLS Regular Season - Week 9
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park - Commerce City
April 29 - 4 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, MLS LIVE on DAZN (in Canada)

They lost their goalkeeper to a red card and then they lost their first game since Week 1 and the Colorado Rapids will be hungry to rebound from a 3-0 loss to Rocky Mountain rival Real Salt Lake.

But it will not be easy. Orlando City SC comes to Colorado on a high, having won four straight, including a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday.

The Lions are unbeaten in all three league matches against the Rapids (2W-0L-1D). They have yet to allow a goal to Colorado, per Opta.

Colorado Rapids

The Colorado Rapids (2-2-2) were on the wrong end of a pair of Video Review decisions last Saturday. The first, Tim Howard handling the ball outside of the box on a break by Jefferson Savarino after 20 minutes, resulted in the US international being sent off.

The second, a handball called on Tommy Smith inside the box, led to Joao Plata’s pivotal penalty kick in the 82nd minute. That opened the floodgates for RSL, who tacked on two more goals in the final seconds to capture the first leg of the 2018 Rocky Mountain Cup.

Now the focus shifts to a tough Orlando City SC team led by in-form striker Dom Dwyer and the influential Yoshi Yotun in the midfield, someone Colorado coach Anthony Hudson said he knows well from the qualifying playoff between New Zealand and Peru when he was coaching the Kiwis.

“It’s another tough test, they’re a good team, on a good run, they have some very good attacking players,” Hudson said. “We’re clear about how they play and what they want to do, but nothing changes for us. The result on Saturday hasn’t dented any confidence.”

  • Suspended: G - Tim Howard
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Jack Price
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Kortne Ford, D - Marlon Hairston (knee); QUESTIONABLE: D - Danny Wilson (undisclosed)

Projected Starting XI
(3-5-2, right to left)
GK: Zac MacMath — Deklan Wynne, Axel Sjoberg, Tommy Smith — Bismark Boateng, Johan Blomberg, Jack Price, Enzo Martinez, Edgar Castillo — Jack McBean, Dominique Badji

  • Notes: Colorado forward Dominique Badji has been a part of 65 aerial duels, the most in the league. He has won 29 of those duels, fourth most in the league. … Colorado is unbeaten in seven straight league home matches (4W-0L-3D), outscoring opponents 12-5 in that time. They’ve kept clean sheets in three of their last four games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Orlando City SC

Break up the Lions!

Orlando City SC (4-2-1) has raced up to third in the Eastern Conference thanks to four consecutive wins, including a 3-2 victory over San Jose on Saturday.

Chris Mueller extended a personal goal-scoring streak to three straight games when he put the Lions in front in the second minute. Sacha Kljestan struck in the 35th minute and Dwyer added the 100th of his professional career (69') to all but put the game away, sans a few late nervy moments because of a Florian Jungwirth brace.

Led by Dwyer and Mueller, who was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi, the Lions have scored 12 goals during the four-match winning streak.

“We made a lot of changes in the offseason and it took a while for us to get used to each other, a few games to get Into a rhythm,” Dwyer said. “We’re hitting stride now and we’re feeling confident. We’re staying at the same level right now. We’ve got to continue to work hard, try and keep this run going and get a result in Colorado.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Yoshimar Yotun
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Mason Stajduhar (localized Ewing sarcoma), D - Scott Sutter (lower body), D - Jonathan Spector (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: D - RJ Allen (hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Joe Bendik — Will Johnson, Lamine Sane, Amro Tarek, Mohammed El-Munir — Yoshimar Yotun, Cristian Higuita — Chris Mueller, Sacha Kljestan, Stefano Pinho — Dom Dwyer

  • Notes: Last weekend, Yotún became the third player in club history with at least two games with 2-plus assists, joining Kaká (four) and Carlos Rivas (two). … Orlando enters this weekend on a four-game winning streak in league play that has seen them score multiple goals in each match. Another win would tie the franchise record of five, set from Sept. 13-Oct. 16, 2015.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Colorado Rapids 0 wins, 0 goals … Orlando City SC 2 wins, 4 goals … 1 tie
  • At Colorado: Rapids 0 wins, 0 goals … Orlando City SC 0 wins, 0 goals .. 1 tie
  • Last meeting at Colorado: Colorado Rapids 0, Orlando City SC 0 (Aug. 20, 2016)


Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Assistant Referees: Corey Parker, Kyle Atkins
4th Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic