FC Cincinnati plans to travel to the Colorado Rapids for a 9:30 p.m. matchup Saturday night. FCC will look to continue its eight-match unbeaten streak against a team in the doldrums of the Western Conference.
The visiting team seems to be getting a little bit healthier compared to how it’s looked the last few matches, but that might not show up on the lineup sheet. Brandon Vazquez and Sergio Santos seem to be participating in more training sessions, but it’s unclear if they’ll be able to play tomorrow.
Because of that, Yuya Kubo could continue his run in the team following a good outing on Tuesday, alongside Dominique Badji, who might be the third-string striker now that Brenner has departed the team.
This pairing would look pretty different, thematically, compared to how the forwards usually play on the side. It would offer something different and not something the Rapids have on tape. I think the two could work very well together if that ends up being the forward pairing for the matchup. Both are ravenous trackers of the ball should the side lose possession, which would be great in keeping up the pressure.
Lucho Acosta could re-enter the forward role like on Tuesday, but I think it would be much more likely that he assumes his central attacking position in the midfield. Acosta has looked at his MVP form in the last couple of matches, now at five goals and three assists on the season.
Acosta’s return to form has directly coincided with FCC’s rise in goal-scoring acumen, and at this point, there really isn’t a massive weakness on the team when everyone is healthy.
On defense, Nick Hagglund looked to have possibly picked up a knock on Tuesday late in the match. I’m not sure if he’ll feature in this weekend’s matchup, but we could possibly see Ian Murphy once again. Murphy hasn’t looked like a complete liability when he’s been in the backline, even directly being involved in a vital goal against Columbus.
The Colorado Rapids are currently 12th in the Western Conference with a record of 2-6-6 and 12 points. On the season, the Rapids have scored only 12 goals and allowed 21, compared to FCC’s 21 and 14 respectively.
Colorado is currently on a four-game losing streak, with losses against the likes of Atlanta United and Real Salt Lake twice. The problem seems to be two-fold for Colorado. Every match when the offense comes around, the defense looks to disappoint.
Much like the match with the New York Red Bulls, multiple players share the goal-scoring lead on the side with two goals apiece, those being Lalas Abubakar, Michael Barrios and Kevin Cabral.
However, the Rapids do seem to have an assist aficionado in Connor Ronan, currently with six. The Colorado midfield has assisted on half of the team’s goals, which is extraordinary. It might say more about how hard the side finds it to score, but considering the circumstances, it is a metric that FCC will definitely know. This is the player FCC will most likely need to track the most, and if they can shut him out, then the chance of victory will go up massively.
Whoscored.com stated that some of the Colorado Rapids’ strengths include counter-attacking and creating chances with through balls. It also said some of the side’s weaknesses also include finishing their scoring chances, defending down the wings and through ball attacks and stopping the opponent from creating chances. Whoscored.com also said that the Rapids’ style of play is playing long balls, rotating their lineup and playing in their own half.