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Sporting KC v Colorado Rapids: Preview, Injuries & Predictions

Sporting KC hit the road for the first of five games in just 14 days. While the season is bleak, this two-week stretch will define the rest of the year.

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Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting KC vs Colorado Rapids

When: Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 8:30 PM CT (8:40 kickoff)

Where: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

How to Watch/Stream: Apple MLS Season Pass

Sporting Kansas City took a step in the right direction this past weekend. The team defeated Austin FC 2-0 in their most complete performance of the year. A relatively young lineup, featuring four starters 23 or under (Voloder, Davis, Pierre and Tzionis), took it to Austin while keeping only the second clean sheet of the season.

And it was a good time for youth to emerge as the club is about to embark on a busy stretch of five games in 14 days where their depth will be challenged. The congestion starts with heading to the Rocky Mountains to take on the Colorado Rapids. The historically bad Rapids are having themselves quite the season as they sit fourth in the Western Conference standings. There is a decent gap up to Real Salt Lake in third, who are six points clear with a game in hand, but it’s extremely tight behind Colorado. They are just three points clear of the 9th place Seattle Sounders and four of being out of the playoffs entirely.

Sporting KC, on the other hand, are a whopping 14 points behind Colorado, though they could leap over 12th place St. Louis City SC if results go their way this weekend. At least SKC have given themselves six points of clearance over wooden spoon leaders the San Jose Earthquakes.

What’s new for Colorado in 2024?

The Colorado Rapids had quite the offseason. Some may say they ‘won’ the offseason with headline grabbing moves to draw attention to a team that has struggled over the years. They also brought in Chris Armas to coach the team with the promise of potentially playing energy drink soccer at altitude. That’s a dangerous combination.

IN: The biggest signing is a name MLS fans will be familiar with. The club made Djordje Mihailovic a Designated Player, bringing him back from Europe after getting his start in MLS in Chicago and breaking out in Montreal.

He’s joined by another USMNT veteran in goalkeeper Zack Steffen. Though Steffen has had a rougher go of it, allowing in 35 goals which is tied with the Portland Timbers as the worst team above the playoff line (though not as bad as Sporting KC’s 44 goals allowed).

They are joined by Omir Fernandez, a midfielder from the New York Red Bulls who is one of the leagues youngest free agent signings ever. Fullback Sam Vines came back to Colorado after a trip to Belgium. Colorado also leaned heavily on the SuperDraft (three signings), Homegrowns and MLS Next Pro.

The team added defensive midfielder Lamine Diack from Nantes (France), but he’s only played 16 minutes.

OUT: The biggest name is Diego Rubio, who Sporting KC fans will know well. He landed in Austin, as you no doubt noticed last week with his repeated late headers to Nemanja Radoja’s skull. The team also parted ways with goalkeeper William Yarbrough, traded fullback Andrew Gutman to Chicago and released longtime CB Danny Wilson.

Kansas City’s Form

Colorado’s Recent Form

  • June 1st @ Vancouver Whitecaps – 1-2 Loss
  • June 15th vs. Austin FC – 2-0 Win
  • June 19th @ St. Louis City – 3-0 Win
  • June 22nd vs. CF Montreal – 4-1 Win
  • June 29th @ LAFC – 0-3 Loss

Injury/Availability Report

Official injury reports aren’t available until matchday minus one in the late afternoon/early evening, so here are last week’s report as we wait for today’s news. 

Sporting KC:

Colorado:

  • OUT – Moise Bombito (Intl. Duty – Canada), Daniel Chacon (knee), Jackson Travis (stress fracture)
  • QUESTIONABLE – None

Suspensions

Sporting KC: None

  • Suspended Next Yellow: Jake Davis

Colorado: Kevin Cabral (red card)

  • Suspended Next Yellow: Djordje Mihailovic

Stats

Sporting KC

Goals: Willy Agada (5), Erik Thommy (4), Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell, Stephen Afrifa (3), Remi Walter, Dany Rosero, Alenis Vargas, Jake Davis (2), Nemanja Radoja, Memo Rodriguez, Daniel Salloi, Robert Castellanos, Marinos Tzionis, Tim Leibold (1)

Assists: Rodriguez (5), Salloi, Russell, Pulido (3), Davis, Agada, Khiry Shelton, Thommy, Radoja (2), Andreu Fontas, Tim Leibold, Robert Voloder, Walter, Zorhan Bassong, Kayden Pierre (1)

Afrifa is tied as the third leading scorer on the team with Russell and Pulido. He has 988 minutes less than Pulido and 868 less than Russell. He does have zero assists to their three apiece though, but it’s interesting.

Colorado

Goals: Rafael Navarro (11), Djordje Mihailovic (9), Cole Bassett (6), Calvin Harris (4), Kevin Cabral (3), Moise Bombito (2), Omir Fernandez (1)

Assists: Mihailovic (8), Bassett, Cabral, Fernandez, Navarro (3), Harris (2), five with one (1)

Predictions

Travelling to Colorado is tough. But it’s not hopeless. While Sporting KC have an abysmal 5-19-13 regular season road record in Colorado, they’ve earned draws in five of their last six meetings. The bad news is, they really need to start reeling off some wins and they haven’t done that in a decade. They last won a game on the road in Colorado on March 29, 2014.

It’s hard to imagine, particularly with how bad the season has gone, that KC suddenly break that massively long winless streak.

Then again, maybe they have the element of surprise. Colorado is good at home (5-2-2), but they aren’t unbeatable. They leak in a lot of goals and despite being so far down the table, Sporting KC know how to score. The Rapids have been tallying lots of goals this season too, landing at the 5th best output in the West.

But Sporting KC have won just two of their last 15 games, and only once on the road all season. It would be illogical to pick them to win at a place they’ve historically struggled. The elevation wins again.

PREDICTION: 3-2 Colorado Win

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ar_jhawk

I will be at this game! Mostly for the fireworks after I guess, but it is part of a Colorado-Kansas City for me as the Royals will be in town over the weekend.

GV dude

I sincerely hope PV entertains you. Happy 4th!

Kat

I’m jealous! Took a trip to see a show at Red Rocks the other month and went to one of the wildlife preserves out there not realizing how close it was to DSGP. It was absolutely beautiful and is now on my shortlist of stadiums to catch a match in one day.

Have fun tonight and happy 4th!

Wes

It’s just laughable at this point how pathetic this team is

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