After our game preview, here are BSN Rapids’ projected starting XI for each team leading up to Friday’s rivalry bout in Utah.
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 (Marco Pappa), Kevin Doyle, Marlon Hairston
After a bad 5-1 loss at Yankee Stadium, the Rapids seem to have found their groove again defensively. After that game, Pablo Mastroeni made three crucial changes that he’s stuck with and they have certainly paid off. Micheal Azira hasn’t started since in midfield, Jared Watts was benched for Bobby Burling and Shkelzen Gashi moved to a central attacking role.
With this, I don’t expect Mastroeni to change things up again now. The one real question is who will play on the wing opposite Marlon Hairston? Last week Sebastien Le Toux was started and didn’t play his best. The Rapids have also used Dominique Badji who gives the team more speed and athleticism down the wing, allowing the team to play with more width and depth. The other option, the choice I’d make, would be Marco Pappa who’s playmaking ability would allow the team more quality possession. Pappa likes to come and receive the ball deeper to initiate play, he could allow be big in aiding link up play between midfield and attack.
Mastoreni in an away game, will probably go for the young legs and keep Pappa as a second half sub to give the attack a spark if needed.
Real Salt Lake 4-3-3
Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando
Defense (left to right): Demar Phillips, Justen Glad, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert
Midfield: JavierMorales, Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland
Forwards: Joao Plata, Yura Movsisyan, Juan Manuel Martinez
RSL has played with a fairly constant starting 11 especially in the last month or so. As mentioned in our game preview they’ll be without right back, Tony Beltran.
That’s a big loss as Beltran’s started 24 games this season. Veteran Chris Wingert has replaced him the few games he hasn’t started as of late.
While the Utahn's defense is a bit shaky, they have maybe the leagues greatest goalkeeper ever covering their behinds.
The front six, on the other hand, is talented, very technically sound, and a veteran group that knows how to create danger.
This will be an intense game between two talented teams.
Stay tuned to BSN Rapids for all the latest updates on game lineups and other Rapids news for Friday’s game.