Preview: Nashville SC vs Colorado Rapids

Nashville SC went on the road and picked up a big 3-0 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Tonight, they kick off a three-match homestand against the Colorado Rapids. Can the ‘Yotes solidify their playoff position and make it three wins in a row? Will Colorado get revenge and break their four-game winless streak?

Nashville SC

Current standing: 5th (West) | 10-9-9 | +5 GD
Power Rankings: 7th

Injuries

OUT:Teal Bunbury (left thigh), Aké Loba (trunk)

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Things have quickly turned around for the Boys in Gold as they busted their slump and won their last two games by a combined 7-0. After a long trip to Vancouver, they get ready to kick off a three matches in a row at GEODIS Park.

The win against Vancouver and a few other results around the league has seen Nashville begin to move up the table and currently sit in fifth place (albeit having played an extra game). A win against Colorado would allow them to further cement their spot in fifth; however, they cannot move any further up the table.

Predicted Nashville SC XI

Nashville aren’t out of the race for a home playoff game, but need to get a win against the Rapids to stay in the hunt.

Going into the Vancouver match, Nashville kicked off a stretch of three matches in eight days and knew rotation was going to be key. The question was going to be, do you rest players on the road to Vancouver or in the midweek against Colorado.

Whether by design or circumstance, Nashville made a host of changes for the Vancouver match, including the omission of Walker Zimmerman, Dan Lovitz, Shaq Moore, and C.J. Sapong. That, coupled with their ability to sub players early in a dominant win in Vancouver, allows Nashville to be pretty fresh for their match against the Rapids. There should be some slight rotation but look to see a close to a full-strength lineup.

The defense is where we saw the bulk of the rotation Saturday night, but I expect to see the usual defenders make their way back to the start XI, with Dave Romney the lone exception. He was the only starting defender that was not rested, and it’s hard to make a case for Jack Maher to make way back to the bench after his showing in Vancouver.

In the attack, Hany Mukhtar continues to be a one man highlight reel. He may have only had assists against the Whitecaps, but he now finds himself in elite company with back-to-back double digit goals and assist seasons.

Mukhtar will continue to be the offensive focal point against the Rapids and will look to cause havoc against a depleted Rapids team. C.J. Sapong got some much-deserved rest on the weekend, and the hope is that it is the needed spark to get him back on track. He is goalless since May 21st and if Nashville are going to make a run at a home playoff spot, they need him scoring.

Colorado Rapids

Current standing: 11th (West) | 8-8-11 | -9 GD
Power Rankings: 13th

Injuries

OUT: Aboubacar Keita (knee), Braian Galvan (knee), Dantouma Toure (knee), Jack Price (upper body), Jackson Travis (core), Oliver Larraz (leg), Sebastian Anderson (leg)
SUSPENDED: Gustavo Vallecilla (red card)

The Western Conference regular season champions have had a 2022 season to forget. They currently find themselves in 11th place with 32 points. But while they may be 4 places below the playoff line, they are only five points out.

Normally, I wouldn’t completely discount them for a playoff spot, but they’re in dreadful form. They come into tonight’s match in the midst of a 4 game winless streak and fresh off a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of the Philadelphia Union. Couple that with only a single win on the road this season, the Rapids are all but out.

Predicted Colorado XI

The only chance of keeping those playoff hopes alive is a win at Geodis Park.

Coach Robin Frazer has had his hands full juggling the current stretch of fixtures and a growing injury list. They find themselves missing seven players due to injury, as well as Gustavo Vallecilla, who picked up a red card against the Union. Fortunately for the Rapids, Bryan Acosta is back from his red card suspension

Along with the injuries and suspensions, this team made a few changes from the one that played Nashville back in May. Mark-Anthony Kaye was shipped off to Toronto and Auston Trusty made his move to England. On the positive side, Felipe Gutiérrez was picked up from C.D. Universidad Católica on loan.

Gutiérrez is a number 10 who has a history in this league with Sporting Kansas City. He’ll be instrumental in any bit of success that Colorado hopes to have against Nashville and will need to be at the top of his game.

Pod picks

Andy Simmons

Score: Nashville 2 – 0 Colorado
Scores: C.J. Sapong, Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville score both goals in the first half

Jonathan Slape

Score: Nashville 3 – 0 Colorado
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Jacob Shaffelburg, Randall Leal
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville get’s their third win in a row as Mukhtar gets a goal and two assists

Chris Ivey

Score: Nashville 2 – 0 Colorado
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, C.J. Sapong
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: C.J. Sapong finally gets on the board

Lucas Panzica

Score: Nashville 2 – 0 Colorado
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar (x2)
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Not so bold but its the Hany Mukhtar show

Ben Wright

Score: Nashville 4 – 1 Colorado
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar (x2) C.J. Sapong, Walker Zimmerman
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Colorado take less than 5 total shots

Fan Forecast

Kit matchup

Match Info

Teams: Nashville SC vs Colorado Rapids
Odds: Nashville (-140), Draw (+280), Colorado (+333) via BetMGM
Date: Wednesday, August 31
Time: 7:30 PM Central, GEODIS Park, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: MYTV30
Radio: iHeartRadio Online (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 89°/62°. Sunny. 10% chance of rain. 41% humidity

Author: Jonathan Slapeoriginated from outside of Atlanta but has lived in Nashville since 2005. Original member of Speedway Soccer and has been talking and occasionally writing about Nashville SC since the USL days. Self proclaimed official fashion correspondent. Outside of Nashville SC you can find him singing the praises of Jurgen Klopp, discussing the latest in sneakers and soccer fashion with a good stiff drink.

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