Match Preview: Union vs Colorado Rapids, Wednesday May 29, 7:30 PM

The boys in blue will look to right the ship against a moribund Rapids side desperate for hope.

It was not so long ago that the Union were riding high, unbeaten in over a month, with almost nary a point escaping Talen Energy Stadium. That all came crashing down in the last two matches, a draw against exhausted Seattle and a loss against the tenth-place Timbers of Portland. Now, the Union (7-3-4, 24 pts, second in East) face a Colorado Rapids side (2-2-9, 8 pts, last in West) who is by all accounts a guaranteed three points, and yet, now an air of uncertainty surrounds the U.

It’s inescapable, the comparisons to 2016 and the epic fold the Union underwent, sliding from first to barely qualifying for the playoffs, then getting bounced unceremoniously in the first round. Even though this is a different team, there’s something rather Union-ish about epic losing streaks and lost points, conceding goals late and falling apart. It’s up to this team to show everyone that this is not what they’re about, and they can take a step towards that by thrashing Colorado at home.

What the Union have going for them:

  1. Colorado stinks. They’ve already fired their manager. Their head coach is former Union striker Conor Casey. This is a team in disarray, a team the Union should beat.
  2. They are home. Home field still carries a lot of weight in MLS. The crowd in attendance and friendly confines help.
  3. There will be a bit of desperation in the Union’s play. To a man, they know they have to win this match. They know, going on the road for seven of their next ten, they will have to make the most of this.

What the Union have going against them:

  1. Who will the second striker be? Kacper Przybylko has been a revelation, but who slides in on the other side? Each other option has failed at points to make an impression. Will it be Santos, or Picault, or someone else?
  2. Colorado may be waking up. They’ve won their last two matches for their only two wins this year. Might the Union have caught them at a bad time?
  3. This is MLS. Weird stuff happens every week. Parity is baked into every move the league makes. Colorado is not as bad as 2-2-9; is the Union as good as their record?

The prediction:

The Union are in fact as good as their record and thrash the Rapids, getting on the right foot for the forays on the road ahead.

Union 2 – Rapids 0

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