GK Zac MacMath returns to action after undergoing knee surgery on August 1 to repair a torn meniscus. MacMath’s last appearance came during the 1-0 loss at San Jose Earthquakes on July 29. MacMath will be making his eighth regular season start of 2017. In all, the 26-year-old goalkeeper has made 130 MLS appearances, with 129 of those coming from the start. His MLS debut came six years ago this weekend (September 3, 2011), as a halftime substitute for the Philadelphia Union at Real Salt Lake. Luis Gil was playing for RSL, and LA Galaxy's Jack McInerney was a teammate.
DEF Marlon Hairston is 98 minutes shy of registering his first-ever 2,000-minute season in MLS. He still remains the only Rapids player to see action in every regular season contest this season (25 appearances; 21 starts). Hairston’s first professional goal came in the Rapids’ 4-3 loss on August 20, 2014 against the Galaxy.
DEF Kortne Ford returns to the Starting XI after falling out of the 18 during the 4-1 loss at Real Salt Lake. Ford is just 83 minutes away from becoming the first Rapids Homegrown player to reach 1,000 minutes in his first professional season. This will be Ford’s 12th appearance and 11th start of 2017.
DEF Axel Sjöberg will be making his seventh start in the last eight contests, sitting out the 2-1 loss at Portland Timbers on August 23. The Swedish defender will be making just his 12th appearance of 2017 after being sidelined with various lower body injuries during the season. Sjöberg is 24 minutes shy of reaching 5,000 in his professional career.
DEF Eric Miller will feature at left back for the first time since the 1-0 home loss against D.C. United on August 19. Miller reached 6,000 MLS minutes during the 2-1 loss at Portland Timbers. The 24-year-old defender will be making his 23rd start of 2017, tying his personal best set during his first season with the club in 2016.
MID Micheal Azira became the first Rapids player to reach the 2,000-minute mark in 2017 during the 4-1 loss at Real Salt Lake. Azira also registered his second assist of the season, and third of his MLS career, at RSL last weekend. This will be Azira’s 65th regular season start in MLS, with 51 of those coming as a Rapid.
MID Luis Gil is now just three starts away from hitting the century mark in Major League Soccer (RSL 89, ORL 6, COL 2). Gil’s MLS debut came during Real Salt Lake’s 4-1 win over LA back on March 26, 2011, replacing Paulo in the 77th minute.
MID Mohammed Saeid scored the lone goal in the 2-1 loss at Portland Timbers on August 23, his first since joining the league in 2015 with Columbus Crew SC. Saeid is now 150 minutes shy of reaching his second 2,000-minute campaign in MLS. This will be his 21st appearance and 20th start for Colorado.
MID Kevin Doyle is one of three Rapids players on caution accumulation warnings (Miller, Azira). Sitting at 1,939 minutes logged in 2017, Doyle is set to reach 2,000 minutes in back-to-back seasons. Doyle is currently tied for first in starts (22), second in minutes (1,939), and tied for second in appearances (24).
MID Shkëlzen Gashi’s home debut took place in the 2016 home opener, playing the first 83 minutes of the thrilling 1-0 victory over LA on March 12. Last season, Gashi tallied two golazos against the Galaxy, the first in the final regular season meeting on August 13, and the second in the return leg of the Western Conference Semifinal on November 6.
FWD Dominique Badji returned to the starting lineup against RSL, after coming off the bench and playing the final 27 minutes of the 2-1 loss at Portland Timbers. Despite leading the team in goals, Badji has not found the back of the net since the 1-1 draw at Toronto FC on July 22. In his third season in MLS, Badji has now registered 101 shots, with 36 of those coming in 2017.
On the bench:
GK John Berner has not made a regular season start in almost three years. His last came during a 2-2 home draw against the Portland Timbers on September 13, 2014. Despite not seeing the field, Berner has been on the bench in a total of 10 games this season.
DEF Mike da Fonte will be on the bench for the second straight game after going the full 90 minutes during the 2-1 loss at Portland Timbers on August 23. During that game, da Fonte reached the 1,000-minute mark in his first season in Major League Soccer.
DEF Jared Watts will start the game on the bench for the third consecutive time. Watts was credited for an own goal during the 1-0 loss against D.C. United last month. It marked the second game in which the Rapids dropped a 1-0 contest due to an own goal. Defender Eric Miller’s mishit gave the New York Red Bulls all three points on March 12 at Red Bull Arena.
MID Nana Boateng played the first 45 minutes of the 4-1 loss at Real Salt Lake before being replaced by Micheal Azira. Since arriving in Commerce City prior to the 2017 campaign, the Ghanaian midfielder has now played in 11 games (six starts) for the club.
MID Dillon Serna has now seen the field just once in the last five contests, appearing in the 2-1 loss at Portland Timbers on August 23. Serna’s only tally of 2017 came during the 3-1 home loss against the LA Galaxy on June 21.
MID Joshua Gatt registered his first goal in MLS during the 4-1 loss against Real Salt Lake. Gatt’s goal was initially called off due to an apparent offside, but Video Review showed that Gatt was in fact in an onside position. The 25-year-old winger has appeared in 12 matches and five starts for the Rapids.
M/F Stefan Aigner will be available for selection for the first time since signing a three-and-a-half year contract with the club on July 26. The 30-year-old winger arrived on a free transfer from 1860 Munich during the summer transfer window.