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: Dominique Badji, Kevin Doyle, Marlon Hairston
As mentioned already in our game preview, the lineup question worth watching is whether Micheal Azira is thrown back into his starting defensive midfielder role or if last week's version of Dillon Powers and Sam Cronin in midfield will start. Where Powers plays should also largely determine if Gashi is placed back in the number 10 role, a position in which he performed excellently.
The left winger position is the last spot that will be impacted by the trickle down effect of Azira starting or being benched. If Azira starts, then Powers likely plays in the central attacking midfield spot and Gashi takes Badji’s spot.
Considering how well things went last week, we’re projecting Pablo Mastroeni gives this lineup another go.
Los Angeles Galaxy 4-2-3-1 (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Brian Rowe
Defense (left to right): Ashley Cole, Jelle Van Damme, Daniel Steers, A.J. DeLaGarza
Midfield: Baggio Husidic, Nigel de Jong, Steven Gerrard
Forwards: Emmanuel Boateng, Robbie Keane, Giovani dos Santos
The Galaxy have a similar question regarding a typical starter who would impact their tactics. That man being Gyasi Zardes, who hasn’t missed games because of suspension but rather an injury.
If Zardes is healthy enough to start then he’ll likely be put in instead of Gerrard and be moved up as a striker making the lineup a 4-4-2, with the wide players and central middy’s staying the same. Zardes could also play wide instead of Boateng but that seems less likely.
As of now, I’m projecting he won’t start.
The Galaxy are also going to be without Jeff Larentowicz, an important figure in their holding midfield who gives the team balance. Gerrard could play in his place if Zardes is healthy or Bruce Arena could simply opt to use veteran Baggio Husidic, who's a more natural substitution, especially if Zardes is deemed unfit to play a full 90-minutes.
Stay tuned to BSN Rapids for all the latest updates on game lineups and other Rapids news for Saturday’s game.