There will be plenty of shine on Saturday’s MLS matchup in the nation’s capital as the Colorado Rapids play their first MLS match with midfielder Kellyn Acosta, and D.C. United plays for the third time at brand new Audi Feld.
D.C. United (3-9-5, 14 points) figures to have plenty of motivation after losing a 1-0 decision to the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday in their new venue. Bradley Wright-Phillps scored his 100th career MLS goal two minutes into the match and D.C. United never recovered.
Acosta has already played in one match for his new side, helping the Rapids to a 2-2 tie in a club friendly against South American power Boca Juniors. Acquired in a trade that sent Dom Badji to FC Dallas, Acosta last played for FC Dallas as a substitute on July 21. He scored for his former team on July 14 against the Chicago Fire.
“It was definitely cool getting out there with the (Rapids) in the first minutes and kind of getting integrated with the squad and getting a feel for everything,” Acosta said after the Boca Juniors match.
Yet all eyes still figure to be on D.C. United designated player Wayne Rooney, who has made three appearances (one start) for his new squad. The 32-year-old Rooney already has an assist and is looking for his first MLS goal.
“It will be exciting to see my old pal again,” Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard said of Rooney on the team’s podcast. “We played on the same club in England and obviously Everton is dear to both of us. It’s going to be tough because he’s a world-class player but we’re looking forward to getting into Audi (Field).”
The Rapids (4-11-5, 17 points) enter after consecutive MLS draws that followed consecutive defeats, while D.C. United has registered consecutive defeats after beating Vancouver 3-1 on July 14 in the first ever match at Audi Field.
D.C. United is in last place in the Eastern Conference, while Colorado is next to last in the Western Conference.
D.C. United will be without defenders Taylor Kemp (labrum) and Nick DeLeon (knee). Defender Chris Odoi-Atsem (compartment release surgery) and midfielder Ulises Segura (knee) are probable.
The Rapids will be without forward Giles Barnes (ankle). Midfielder Shkelzen Gashi (Achilles), midfielder Marlon Hairston (Achilles), forward Jack McBean (Achilles), midfielder Sam Nicholson (foot) and midfielder Jack Price (groin) are all probable.
—Field Level Media