After our game preview, here are BSN Rapids’ projected starting XI for each team leading up to Saturday’s contest.
Colorado Rapids 4-2-3-1
Goalkeeper: Tim Howard
Defense (left to right): Marc Burch, Axel Sjoberg, Bobby Burling, Eric Miller
Midfield: Sam Cronin, Dillon Powers, Shkelzen Gashi
Forwards: Sebastien Le Toux, Kevin Doyle, Marlon Hairston
Much like last week, what Pablo Mastroeni decides to do in central midfield will largely determine the lineup for Colorado this weekend. Micheal Azira sat on the bench last week for the first time all season, the results were mixed with Powers and Cronin in midfield. Azira certainly didn’t help his cause by coming into the game and playing pretty poorly.
The other position that seems up for grabs is the left winger spot in which Dominique Badji has started the last two games but did not look sharp last week against the Galaxy. The young winger will remain an option, as will Marco Pappa, switching Powers to the number ten role and Gashi on the wing, or new Rapid Sebastien Le Toux. We’re going with the new guy who adds some interesting tactical savvy, finishing ability and precise passing.
Orlando City SC 4-2-3-1
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik
Defense (left to right): Luke Boden, Seb Hines, David Mateos, Kevin Alston
Midfield: Servando Carrasco, Antonio Nocerino, Kaka
Forwards: Brek Shea, Cyle Larin, Hadji Barry
Orlando’s back line is fairly consolidated (as far as who’s starting). The one defensive question is the central back spot next to Seb Hines, as Mateos could be replaced by the return loanee Jose Aja.
Antonio Nocerino has played on and off, but has gotten more playing time lately and I’m projecting him to start. Cristian Higuita among others could start in Nocerino's place.
Three of the front four are sure shots to start in Kaka, Shea, and Larin. Orlando has options on the right wing in Kevin Molino, Barry and Matías Perez Garcia among others. The young Barry has speed and creativity on the pitch that gives Orlando a bit more shape in their front four.
Stay tuned to BSN Rapids for all the latest updates on game lineups and other Rapids news for Saturday’s game.