Competition: Major League Soccer – Colorado Rapids vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Friday, May 5th – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)
Match Odds: Colorado 10/11 – Draw 23/10 – Vancouver 3/1
Struggling Colorado Rapids welcome Vancouver Whitecaps to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Friday night as they look to snap a six-game winless run in front of their own fans.
Colorado’s 2-0 loss at Orlando on Saturday was their fourth on the spin and they find themselves at the bottom of the West coming into the weekend.
The Rapids have started the year in the worst way possible after such an encouraging campaign last year. Colorado were nine points better off after seven games last year. They have conceded 11 goals so far this term – the same number they had conceded after 17 games last term.
Paulo Mastroeni is under pressure. The players aren’t performing and the team traded two of it’s most consistent players in Sam Cronin and Marc Burch to Minnesota United, who have since moved four points clear of them.
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Failure to win Friday’s game would leave the club in a deep hole. They are six points behind Vancouver in the final playoff spot at this early stage but can’t afford to keep dropping points, especially at home.
The Whitecaps have hardly been convincing themselves, with inconsistency proving a problem as they try to climb the West. They have won two of their last three though, including a 2-1 win in Montreal on Saturday to pick up their first road points of the campaign.
They’ll be looking to follow that up with three points in Colorado on Friday – something they haven’t been able to do for five years.
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The ‘Caps remain a solid outfit but must start winning more regularly. They haven’t won back-to-back regular season games since May last year but look to be in a strong position to do that here.
These two sides met three times last season, drawing twice in Vancouver either side of a 2-0 Colorado win in August. The Rapids have won their six home games against the Whitecaps, conceding just three goals in the process.
Colorado Rapids should welcome Tim Howard back between the sticks after the goalkeeper completed his recent three-game ban. Kortne Ford is also eligible again after being suspended for the weekend trip to Orlando. However, Axel Sjoberg is still out along with Bismark Adjei-Boateng, while Dillon Serna is a doubt.
Vancouver are still missing six players through injury with Brek Shea, Brett Levis, Yordy Reyna, David Edgar, Erik Hurtado and Marcos Bustos still sidelined.
Colorado Rapids’ form: D/L/L/L/L
Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: L/L/W/L/W
Key Stat: Colorado have won six home games in a row against Vancouver, with the Whitecaps only ever win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park coming back in the 2012 season.
Key Player: Fredy Montero – The Whitecaps DP has started to find some form, after scoring three in his last three. He has played the full 90 minutes in Vancouver’s past four games and is clearly back to full fitness. If he is on form on Friday, it could be another tough evening for the Rapids.
Colorado Rapids 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps – This is a massive game for Colorado. They have to stop the rot and show their fans an encouraging performance to inspire belief in the team for the rest of the season. They have a great record against the Whitecaps, but they are starting to find some form now and will offer a stern test. We can’t split the two on paper, so don’t be surprised to see this one end level.