Match Preview: Rapids travel to FC Dallas
The last time these two teams were due to meet, on August 26, the Rapids had just been thumped 4-1 at home by Real Salt Lake. They will arrive in Texas on Wednesday unbeaten in four and fresh from a 5-0 demolition of RSL at the weekend, writes Richard Fleming.
While the Rapids were wrestling back the Rocky Mountain last Saturday, FC Dallas were overcoming their rivals, Houston Dynamo. Dallas claimed their first win in three, and only their second success in eight, with a 2-1 victory over the Dynamo.
The original meeting was postponed as the players from both teams joined athletes from across other sports in taking a stand against social injustice. This contest will be the sixth and final game for the Rapids in phase one of the return to play in markets. Phase two starts on Saturday with an away game at LA Galaxy.
Since the postponed game three weeks ago, the Rapids have gone 1-0-3, with 1-1 draws against Sporting Kansas City, San Jose Earthquakes, and Houston Dynamo, before the goals rained down on RSL this past weekend.
They head to a Dallas side which went three games without a goal but has since scored eight in the last four. They have at least one new face in Colombian midfielder Andrés Ricaurte, who made his debut as a halftime substitute in the 3-2 loss at Minnesota last Wednesday, before scoring a beauty in the win over Houston in his first start.
Two players, though, have departed since the Rapids were last in Frisco. Reggie Cannon is now at Portuguese side Boavista, while forward Zdeněk Ondrášek has returned to his homeland to join FC Viktoria Plzeň in the Czech First Division.
Luchi Gonzalez also has injury worries. They will be minus midfielders Paxton Pomykal and Bryan Acosta as well as goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer for Wednesday’s game.
Kyle Zobeck has featured in the last three, starting the last two, in place of Maurer. Originally drafted by Dallas in 2013, he spent time at New York Cosmos, before returning to Dallas in 2018. His MLS debut came as recently as September 2, when he replaced Maurer 42 minutes into the 1-1 draw at Sporting KC.
Kortne Ford aside, the Rapids appear to have a clean bill of health, so do not be surprised if head coach Robin Fraser rests a few bodies and rotates his squad, with Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday-Sunday games coming up fast.
For the second game in a row, the Rapids will play in front of a paying public, with Dallas - like RSL - allowing a limited number of fans into the stadium.
There are three MLS games taking place on Wednesday night. A win for the Rapids, and anything less than victory for Portland Timbers (at San Jose), will lift Fraser’s men from 10th to fourth in the Western Conference standings! Dallas and the Rapids start the game level on points, with the Texas team one place better off based upon a better goal difference.
We have seen what the Rapids are capable of, and I am sure fans will be very keen to see more of the same.
Coverage of FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids is on Altitude and AltitudeNOW from 6.00pm on Wednesday.