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Sporting KC v Colorado Rapids: Preview, Predictions, Stats, Injuries and Suspensions

Colorado returns to action after a very long layoff.

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MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Colorado Rapids
Colorado Rapids forward Diego Rubio (11) and Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido (9) battle for the ball in the second half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC v Colorado Rapids

When: Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 7:30 PM CT

Where: Children’s Mercy Park

How to Watch/Stream: | Fox Sports Kansas City (regionally) | Fox Sports Midwest (regionally) | ESPN+ (out of market)
How to Listen: Sports Radio 810 WHB | La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)

Saturday will bring a weird feeling. The feeling of “missing” Sporting Kansas City since it’ll have been a week since the last time we all watched them play. That’s a far cry from the three games in six days that happened proceeding that rest (which frankly, is just a return to some normalcy that will be fleeting).

What brought on the change? The Colorado Rapids and their COVID-19 outbreak. The Rapids were supposed to make up a previously postponed game midweek on Wednesday. Instead, due to ongoing cancellations/postponements, the Rapids haven’t played a game since September 23rd. When things kick off on Saturday, the team will have gone nearly a month between games. Talk about getting some rest.

This will mark the third, and probably final, meeting between SKC and Colorado this year (the fourth game is unlikely to be made up). Sporting hold the upper hand going 1-0-1 over that time, including a wild win in Orlando during MLS is Back that include two Colorado red cards. The other meeting from August 29th was a draw in Colorado. A game that was leveled by a Gianluca Busio rocket of a shot.

Saturday will also mark the 81st meeting between these clubs making them Sporting KC’s most frequent opponent. Sporting holds the all-time series lead (26-24-16) even if just barely. The good news is they are far better at home against the Rapids than they are in the elevation of Denver.

Colorado’s “Recent” Results

What’s Changed for Colorado Since the Last Meeting?

The Rapids have made two moves since the clubs last met. They signed MLS veteran defender Steven Beitashour and they traded away Kei Kamara to Minnesota United. The former Sporting KC striker is now on his 8th (!) MLS team. 9th if you count that FC Cincinnati drafted and traded him immediately.

For a more detailed look at the moves the club made during and prior to the 2020 season, head back to our previous preview.

Injuries*

Sporting KC

OUT - Felipe Gutierrez (knee surgery), Graham Zusi (foot surgery)

QUESTIONABLE - None

*This will be updated as more information becomes available.

Colorado

OUT - Kortne Ford (left knee injury)

QUESTIONABLE - Unknown

Since the Rapids haven’t played in a month, everything on the injury report has to be taken with a grain of salt. For their last game they were without Diego Rubio, Younes Namli, Andre Shinyashiki and Deklan Wynne. With so long off, it’s possible everyone has recovered. Without those players, they are definitely lacking a lot of punch in the attack.

Suspensions

Sporting KC - None

  • Suspended Next Yellow: Ilie Sanchez
  • Suspended with Two More Yellows: Alan Pulido

Colorado - Kellyn Acosta (yellow card accumulation)

Stats

Sporting KC

GOALS: Johnny Russell (6), Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda (5), Khiry Shelton, Erik Hurtado (4), Gerso Fernandes (2), Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, Gianluca Busio (1)

ASSISTS: Pulido, Russell (4), Gerso, Busio, Kinda (3), Luis Martins, (2), Roberto Puncec, Shelton, Jaylin Lindsey, Felipe Hernandez, Zusi, Ilie Sanchez, Espinoza, Amadou Dia (1)

Colorado

GOALS: Jonathan Lewis (5), Cole Bassett (4), Kei Kamara (3), Diego Rubio, Andre Shinyashiki (2), seven with one (1)

ASSISTS: Bassett, Jack Price (4), Younes Namli (3), Nicolas Benezet, Rubio, Keegan Rosenberry, Sam Vines (2), seven with one (1)

Form

Sporting KC - W / W / W / L / D (10 points)

Colorado - D / W / L / W / W (10 points)

Starting XI Predictions

Update 10/23/2020: I got around to making some predictions.

Score Predictions

The Rapids were one of the hottest teams in the league before they were struck with a coronavirus outbreak and they proceeded to sit out for nearly a month. Likely much of that was in quarantine so it’s possible their fitness was impacted as well. Then again, maybe they’ve used the time to get healthy (they had a handful of attacking players missing in their final game before the break) and further improve under new head coach Robin Fraser.

Sporting KC could also somewhat be classified as hot, despite a disappointing last two games (a draw and a loss that probably should have been a win and a draw). But even when you factor in the three straight wins before that, the competition wasn’t the best and the wins were still pretty hard to come by.

Saturday will also mark the return of Alan Pulido from international duty (and his subsequent quarantine). He played just a few minutes for Mexico but now should be available for the rest of the MLS season. On full rest with a mostly healthy team Sporting KC have no excuses. They need to go out and win at home on Saturday. Until they show me more consistent performances though, I just can’t predict that is going to happen. Especially with how much they struggled against Colorado specifically this year.

1-1 Draw

What do you think? Predictions in the comments are welcome. Let’s chat about it.

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