ExLink - 10/28/18 - COLvDAL

Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 35

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park — Commerce City
October 28 — 4:30 pm ET

To avoid a Knockout Round game, FC Dallas will need a Decision Day presented by AT&T win over the Colorado Rapids Sunday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

FC Dallas were top of the Western Conference, but fell to third place with a 3-0 home loss to Sporting Kansas City a week ago, while the Rapids picked up a second consecutive clean sheet in a 0-0 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes.

This is the second league meeting this season, with the teams playing to a 1-1 draw in Frisco on April 7. Joe Mason put the Rapids in front in the 62nd minute, but Cristian Colman struck for the late equalizer.

Colorado Rapids

For the first time this season, Colorado (7-19-7) didn’t concede a goal in back-to-back games, playing the Earthquakes to a goalless stalemate at Avaya Stadium.

Scoring chances for both sides were at a premium, with arguably the best for the Rapids coming in the first half when Shkelzen Gashi pushed a loose ball wide from 12 yards out.

“I think today turned into a defensive performance,” Rapids manager Anthony Hudson said. “I think just because how the game panned out, and a couple of injuries we’ve had and the changes we’ve had to make, it ended up turning that way. Obviously, they’re hunting the record for [Chris] Wondolowski, and they’re throwing everything at us. We’re finishing the game. Kortne Ford battled through the last 30 minutes because he was struggling [with cramping].”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F - Jack McBean (foot/toe injury), M - Sam Nicholson (back injury), D - Danny Wilson (back injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Kortne Ford (knee injury), D - Edgar Castillo (hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-4-2, right to left)
GK: Tim Howard — Kortne Ford, Tommy Smith, Axel Sjoberg, Deklan Wynne — Bismark Boateng, Jack Price, Kellyn Acosta, Johan Blomberg — Shkelzen Gashi, Dillon Serna

  • Notes: Colorado have played nine games this season in which they have faced at least 20 shots, tied for the most in MLS. They won just one of those games. … The Rapids have kept clean sheets in their last two league contests (1W-1D), their longest streak since doing so in 2016. They had allowed multiple goals in their prior eight games.

FC Dallas

In a top-of-the-table clash in the West, FC Dallas (16-8-9) fell from their perch following a 3-0 home loss to Sporting Kansas City Sunday.

After Daniel Salloi put the visitors in front just before halftime, Roger Espinoza doubled the lead in the 64th minute and Johnny Russell put the game out of reach from the penalty spot three minutes from full time as FC Dallas suffered a second consecutive defeat without scoring a goal.

A win, along with some help, could move FC Dallas back atop the West. A loss could drop Oscar Pareja’s side to fifth and going on the road for a Knockout Round game.

“I thought today was a playoff mode for everyone,” Pareja said. “Disappointed for the result, but it was great to see our team fighting in that playoff mode. I think we showed today a lot of stuff that made us proud, and I am proud of these guys for qualifying for the playoffs very early and we’re going to be there. We just want to be in a different spot, but hopefully we can see Kansas again.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Kris Reaves (left foot stress fracture), F - Cristian Colman (torn ACL)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Jesse Gonzalez — Reggie Cannon, Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Marquinhos Pedroso — Victor Ulloa, Carlos Gruezo — Michael Barrios, Maxi Urruti, Santiago Mosquera — Dom Badji

  • Notes: Maxi Urruti has five assists since Sept. 1 in MLS play. Only three players have more in that time. … FC Dallas have been held scoreless in three of their last four MLS matches (1W-2L-1D). They had scored in 10 of the prior 11.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Colorado Rapids 22 wins, 86 goals … FC Dallas 32 wins, 110 goals … 17 draws
  • At Colorado: Rapids 14 wins, 47 goals … FC Dallas 9 wins, 45 goals … 11 draws
  • Last meeting at Colorado: Colorado Rapids 1, FC Dallas 1 (Oct. 7, 2017)


Referee: Christopher Penso
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
VAR: Caleb Mendez