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After our game preview, here are BSN Rapids’ projected starting XI for each team leading up to Friday’s rivalry bout in Utah.

Projected Lineups:

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.

RSL v Rapids - Proj

Real Salt Lake 4-3-3

Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando

Defense (left to right): Demar Phillips, Justen Glad, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert

Midfield: Javier Morales, 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.

Born in Boulder and raised in Milan, Italy like Danilo Gallinari. Also like Gallo, I moved to the States at 18; unlike Gallo, I wasn’t drafted by the Knicks but came to attend Western State Colorado University (go Mountaineers!). I graduated in 2009 with a major in Communications and Media and two minors in Journalism and Philosophy. After working in the linguistic field for a few years and listening to sports radio ALL DAY at work, I decided to do it myself and it changed my life around. (Now, I can say I couldn’t be happier and am proudly married to the love of my life Kate.) I moved back to Gunnison and started volunteering for the NPR affiliate up in Crested Butte, while also starting to contribute on an NFL podcast for playitusa.com. A 10 minute bit on one podcast turned into being a regular, year-round on three different podcasts on the NFL, College Football, and the NFL Draft. I’ve since started writing on trueblueblog.net and playitusa.com as well as writing in depth Draft analysis for footballnation.it in the past 3 years. I love the Draft and knowing the stars of the future before everyone else. My sports mount Rushmore is Terrell Davis, Patrick Roy, Italian soccer star Roberto Baggio, and John Elway, deal with it! Hit me up at @andresimone to talk NFL, NCAA football, NFL Draft, CSU football, Nuggets or anything else Colorado or Italy sports related.