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Sporting KC v Colorado Rapids: Preview, Predictions, Stats and Roster Changes

The road trip continues. Game three of seven in 22 days (not all on the road, that’d be crazy).

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MLS: Colorado Rapids at Sporting Kansas City
Altitude is tough, remember that on your short rest.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC @ Colorado Rapids

When: Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 8:00 PM CT (Kickoff 8:08)

Where: Dick’s Sporting Good Park

How to Watch/Stream: Bally Sports KC Plus (regionally) | Bally Sports Midwest Plus (regionally) |
ESPN+ (out of market or over VPN locally)
How to Listen: Sports Radio 810 WHB | La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)

Sporting Kansas City enter Saturday’s matchup in Denver (Commerce City, whatever) sitting in first place in the Western Conference. That is despite only getting one point from their last two home matches (a draw against the San Jose Earthquakes and a loss to FC Dallas). Who needs home games when you can win big on the road?

SKC are coming off their third straight win on the road against playoff teams (Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy and LAFC). If they win the games they shouldn’t then does that mean we can expect another win this weekend?

Kansas City enter Saturday’s game with an abysmal road record against the Rapids in their home stadium. They are just 5-18-11 in Colorado (oh that altitude!) with just three of those wins coming in the last 21 years! In fact, they haven’t won against the Rapids at home since 2014, a stretch that is up to 0-4-3.

Colorado enter Saturday’s game just six points back of Sporting KC in fourth place in the West. They also have two games in hand, so if the Rapids win, they’ll be right on the heels of the conference leaders. Guys... Colorado are good!

Colorado’s Recent Form

On the season, the Rapids are 5-1-2 at home, though one of the draws is recent, so there is the tiniest of openings.

  • July 8th vs. Minnesota United - 2-0 Win
  • July 18th vs. San Jose Earthquakes - 1-1 Draw
  • July 22nd vs. FC Dallas - 2-0 Win
  • July 25th @ Real Salt Lake - 0-3 Loss
  • August 1st @ Austin FC - 1-0 Win

What’s changed for Rapids since these teams first met?

These clubs met back on June 24th when the Rapids came to KC and lost by a score of 3-1. Since that time they’ve made two additions and two subtractions.

IN: The biggest move is the trade for midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye from LAFC for a massive sum of allocation money. So while SKC avoided him Wednesday, they’ll likely meet him this weekend. The other move was a homecoming as Dominique Badji was traded back to the Rapids from Nashville SC for a mere $50,000 in GAM (which could rise to $100,000 if he re-signs in 2022).

OUT: In a deadline day set of moves the Rapids shipped out two players. First, the long reported transfer of USMNT left back Sam Vines to Royal Antwerp in the Belgium top flight in a fee rumored to be worth up to $2 million. Then they sent off French midfielder Nicolas Benezet to the Sounders for a mere $50,000 in Allocation Money (that can also rise to $100k with certain metrics being met). It feels weird to trade a player to a team you are chasing in the standings. And to do it so cheaply after paying so much for Kaye.

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Felipe Hernandez (personal reasons), Ilie Sanchez (yellow card accumulation), Khiry Shelton (abdomen)

QUESTIONABLE - Cam Duke (hamstring)

*This has been updated by the official injury report and the news that Khiry has downgraded to out.

Colorado

OUT - Younes Namli (undisclosed injury)

QUESTIONABLE - Diego Rubio (unknown, but he’s been missing)

Stats

Sporting KC

GOALS: Daniel Salloi (10), Alan Pulido (7), Gadi Kinda (4), Johnny Russell, (3), Gianluca Busio, Jaylin Lindsey (2), Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Hernandez, Khiry Shelton, Cam Duke, Luis Martins (1)

ASSISTS: Khiry Shelton, Daniel Salloi (5), Johnny Russell, Graham Zusi (4), Gianluca Busio (3), Felipe Hernandez, Gadi Kinda (2), Alan Pulido, Andreu Fontas, Luis Martins, Jaylin Lindsey (1)

Colorado

GOALS: Michael Barrios (4), Cole Bassett, Diego Rubio, Andre Shinyashiki (3), Keegan Rosenberry (2), six with one (1)

ASSISTS: Jack Price (5), Barrios (4), Rubio (3), 10 with one (1)

Starting XI Predictions

Update: Check out that story over here.

Score Predictions

It’s hard to know what to think of Sporting KC lately. They get blasted by FC Dallas at home and settle for a draw against San Jose in the same venue. But then they go on the road and give the Sounders their first multi-goal loss at home in five years and stick four on LAFC in Los Angeles?

Alan Pulido being back sure doesn’t hurt thinks and Vermes planned accordingly for the Colorado game by resting Johnny Russell and Roger Espinoza (and subbing off Pulido). However, he didn’t rest his defense. Sure, Jaylin Lindsey could play and be fresh, but Amadou Dia hasn’t played an MLS game since June 9th and Nicolas Isimat-Mirin and Andreu Fontas are being trotted out game after game.

On the other side, Colorado’s leading scorer is known SKC torturer, Michael Barrios. Several times in the 3-1 loss by the Rapids at Children’s Mercy Park, Barrios made runs that had him in behind but the midfielders and right back Rosenberry simply didn’t make the passes. Tired legs combined with a backline that is clearly susceptible to speed and it could spell disaster. Plus Sporting are just bad in altitude.

It’s hard to know what team will show up. It feels like a tough game against a rested Rapids team. Here is to hoping I’m wrong (lately, I usually am — I predicted a loss to Seattle, tie with LAFC and wins over SJ and Dallas).

2-1 Colorado Win

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

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