The Vancouver Whitecaps (4-5-5) visit the Mile-High City on Friday to face the lowly Colorado Rapids (2-7-2). The Caps desperately need to take advantage of the bottom-of-the-league Rapids. Having tied each of their last four matches while Colorado has lost six straight these are the teams to feast on that can set your team on the right track. The Whitecaps overall record against the Rapids is a reasonable 7-9-4 and in their last two visits to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park the caps have escaped with a win and a draw.
This feels like a crucial game for the Caps as it is their first match without their leader Kendall Waston. The Towering Tico will be away for at least the next three matches representing Costa Rica at the World Cup. For a team that has allowed the second-most goals in the MLS losing a player of Kendall’s quality is a severe blow. Carl Robinson can ill-afford a poor decision with the back four in this match. I think we are likely to see Jose Aja and Aaron Maund together, as the Ali Ghazal experiment from last week didn’t go so well and Doneil Henry has only just returned from a loan spell in Ottawa. I expect Jake Nerwinski and Brett Levis will to round out the back four.
On the positive end of the spectrum the Caps offence has finally started firing. They are creating chances and shooting at an amazing rate. Their struggling South American boys Christian Techera and Yordy Reyna both have improved their form. If Carl Robinson can also get the early season scorers Kei Kamara and super sub Brek Shea finishing again, the Whitecaps could have one of the most formidable attacking groups in the league.
As for the Rapids they are a team entering desperation territory. They are out there every match playing attack-minded soccer but are just not getting the results. The Rapids are coming off a match against the Portland Timbers where they were plagued with poor turnovers and eventually lost 3-2. The Rapids have been playing a 3-5-2 this season, a formation which features former Whitecap/Thundercap Deklan Wynne at CB.