Preview: Colorado Rapids v Nashville SC

After a big Open Cup win against Louisville City FC, Nashville SC are back on the road. The Coyotes will travel to the Colorado Rapids, to take on Gary Smith’s former club. Can Nashville extend their unbeaten streak in the league to three matches?

Colorado Rapids

Current standing: 9th (West) | 5-3-5 | 0 GD
Power Rankings: 7th (7.95)

Injuries

QUESTIONABLE: Gyasi Zardes (hamstring)
OUT: Braian Galvan (knee), Aboubacar Keira (knee), Oliver Larraz (leg)

The Colorado Rapids are finally starting to find their form.

After a slow start to due CONCACAF Champions League requirements, The Rapids team has started to put together a few results. They have won two of their last three, including big wins over LAFC and, most recently, Seattle Sounders.

Tonight, they will be looking to continue their momentum against a Nashville team that they have not faced before in MLS.

The Rapids had a very strong 2021 season that was capped off by topping the Western Conference in the regular season but the team itself looks a bit different from that version. Most notably, Cole Bassett and Kellyn Acosta departed the team while Bryan Acosta, Max Alves and Gyasi Zardes have joined.

Throughout the 2021 season and into this year, the biggest question for Robin Fraser has been, where are the goals coming from? Last season was a bit of a goals by committee approach so when the opportunity to acquire Gyasi Zardes came up, the team jumped at the opportunity.

Looking into tonight’s matchup, Gyasi Zardes is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury and if he does not start we could see a slight change in shape from the typical 3-5-2 to a more 3-4-2-1. Regardless of availability, we can expect to see a 3 man backline with wingbacks.

Nashville SC

Current standing: 6th (West) | 5-4-4 | 0 GD
Power Rankings: 8th (7.37)

Injuries

OUT: Teal Bunbury (knee), Robert Castellanos (ankle), Randall Leal (ankle)
SUSPENDED: Alex Muyl (yellow card accumulation)

Nashville comes into tonight’s match on short rest after their Open Cup match against Louisville City. Luckily for them, it was only a short trip and the match was wrapped up in regulation.

Coincidently, the last and only that the Coyotes faced off against the Rapids was during the USL days in the US Open Cup. In their third year, Coach Gary Smith gets a chance to get another result against his former club.

Winning is hard in MLS regardless but the Rapids have an impressive home record themselves, going 23 matches unbeaten. Nashville will have to take their chances if they want any chance of breaking that streak.

Nashville’s schedule in the month of May has been quite hectic. Tonight’s match marks their eighth of the month which has taken a toll on the freshness of the squad. Fortunately, the Coyotes will be a bit of respite with the International break coming right after.

Coach Gary Smith has rotated a good bit during this hectic stretch, using a good bit of the squad both by choice and some changes he was forced into due to injury concerns.

The last time this team came off an Open Cup match, they put up a sub par performance against the Houston Dynamo after putting out a heavily rotated lineup.

Tonight, I would expect to see Coach Smith go with as strong of a lineup as possible. Nashville will, of course, be missing Randall Leal due to his ankle injury, and Alex Muyl is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Eric Miller should slide into that right wingback stop for Muyl and after bagging a goal midweek expect to see Aké Loba to get a start in attack.

If Nashville can avoid the hangover from midweek, they should have enough to get at least a point on the road.

Pod picks

Andy Simmons

Score: Colorado 2 – 1 Nashville
Scores: C.J. Sapong
MOTM: Sean Davis
Bold Prediction: Nashville concedes the winner on a set piece.

Jonathan Slape

Score: Colorado 1 – 1 Nashville
Scorers: Walker Zimmerman
MOTM: Walker Zimmerman
Bold Prediction: Nashville gets a late equalizer off of a set piece.

Chris Ivey

Score: Colorado 2 – 1 Nashville
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville gets a late goal from Mukhtar but tired legs do them in.

Ben Wright

Score: Colorado 1 – 1 Nashville
Scorers: C.J. Sapong
MOTM: C.J. Sapong
Bold Prediction: Nashville take under 7 shots

Fan Forecast

Kit matchup

Match Info

Teams: Colorado Rapids vs Nashville SC
Odds: Colorado (-110), Draw (+240), Nashville (+300) via BetMGM
Date: Saturday, May 28
Time: 8:00 PM Central, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colorado
TV: MYTV30
Radio: iHeartRadio Online (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 86°/57°. Cloudy 0% chance of rain. 14% humidity

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