There’s one game left in the Rapids’ four-game homestand that has spanned the first three weeks of July. Last on the docket is the final regular season match-up with FC Dallas. The two sides shared the spoils on opening weekend, and then the Rapids bagged all three points in the second go-round back in May.

FC Dallas find themselves at the bottom of the table in the West after making the playoffs and beating the Portland Timbers in the opening round. They’ve long been one of the more consistent sides in the league in the last few years so this may just be an aberration and not necessarily a new normal.

On the Rapids’ end of things, it’s a pivotal match in the playoff standings and staying in the top four, which means hosting a playoff game. Above the Rapids, the LA Galaxy are in third with 24 points from 13 games played. Below the Burgundy Boys in fifth is LAFC, level on points but with 13 games played. Every match, especially at home, is crucial given how competitive the West is shaping up to be.

The Rapids can get all three points on Wednesday and here’s how:

Start Fast

The Rapids were caught out early in Saturday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes, leading to the concession of the first goal that changed the dynamic of the rest of the game. In the postgame press conference, captain Jack Price acknowledged the team needed to start faster and be sharper. With a team below the red line once again in town, everybody knows they’ll be playing desperate to get a goal and hang on to a result.

Set Piece Success

It’s been a few games now without a goal from set pieces for the Rapids. Not since the road loss to Sporting KC has the team scored on a restart. Of course, they’ve been unbeaten in that span because the attack is diverse and has multiple playmakers. But with this being the last home game before the Rocky Mountain Cup and having four of the next six games on the road, there’s no time like the present to get back to ol’ reliable. .

Danny's Distribution

Center back Danny Wilson has had a resurgence to his Rapids career in the last 12 months or so. The squad has come to rely on his distribution out of the back to get the attack going. Some of the team’s difficulties creating chances Saturday night may have been in part to how well San Jose did at taking Wilson away from the build-up. Among outfield starters, he finished with the second-fewest touches with 34, per fbref.com. It’s something to watch going forward, as will seeing how creative the Rapids get to get him on the ball and lofting long balls to spring the forwards.

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