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New York City FC vs Colorado Rapids | Roster Notes | May 19, 2018

Starting XI

Midfielder Micheal Azira is set to make his first start of the season for the Rapids. Azira enters his third season with the club, and his fifth in Major League Soccer. In 2017, he finished with a career high in minutes for a single season with 2,569. The Ugandan international featured in two of three matches for his country at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Striker Dominique Badji is making his ninth start for the Rapids this season and leads the team with five goals in eight games. Earlier this season Badji scored his first-ever MLS hat trick against Philadelphia on March 21. He enters his fourth MLS season after being drafted by the Rapids in 2015.

Wingback Nana Boateng is making his second consecutive start after recovering from a head injury that occurred on April 29 against Orlando City SC. Boateng is embracing the opportunity to play in a different position. Earlier this week he commented, “I think now is a great time for me to show that I can play a different position for the club and also help the team.” This season Boateng has appeared in five matches, four from the start, and has played a total of 345 minutes.

Wingback Edgar Castillo appears in the Starting XI for a tenth time this season since joining the Rapids on loan from C.F. Monterrey back in January. Castillo leads all Rapids defenders with 555 total touches this season. Along with fellow defenders Tommy Smith and Deklan Wynne, Castillo has played every minute (810) this season.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard enters his third season in burgundy on the heels of a 2017 campaign that saw the United States Men's National Team legend feature in 25 matches - all from the start. Howard is making his ninth start with a combined 24 saves and two clean sheets this season.

Midfielder Enzo Martinez played all 90 minutes against New York Red Bulls last weekend. Martinez has played a total of 687 minutes with 415 touches, one assist, and leads all Rapids midfielders with 105 duels.

Striker Joe Mason is set to make his sixth start of the season after playing all ninety minutes last weekend against the New York Red Bulls. The Rapids striker has scored two goals this season, his first during his MLS debut against Sporting Kansas City and his second in the 1-1 tie against FC Dallas.

Midfielder Sam Nicholson is making his third consecutive start for the Rapids since joining the team back on May 2. Before joining the Rapids, Nicholson featured in all eight games for MNUFC this MLS season, picking up a goal and an assist in 526 minutes. He is coming off a Man of the Match performance last weekend against New York Red Bulls.

Defender Tommy Smith is in the Starting XI for the tenth time this season. Smith has played every minute (810) this season, additionally, he has two assists, nine shots and 435 total touches.

Defender Danny Wilson is making his fifth start of the season against New York Red Bulls. The Livingston, Scotland native has played 495 minutes with 264 touches and a passing accuracy of 79.6%.

Defender Deklan Wynne will make his tenth consecutive Major League Soccer start after joining the Rapids from Vancouver Whitecaps FC on December 21, 2017. He is second on the Rapids defenders list with 518 touches and leads all Rapids defenders with 403 attempted passes.

On the Bench

Striker Yannick Boli, who was added to the Starting XI moments before last weekend’s match, will be on the bench this week with the return of Dominique Badji to the Starting XI. The Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France native enters his first season with the Rapids after accumulating 16 goals in 24 games and winning the China League One with his former club Dàlián Yīfāng. Boli is eligible to play internationally for both France and Ivory Coast.

Wingback Kip Colvey has made three Starting XI appearance this season since being picked third overall in the 2017 MLS Waiver Draft on December 13, 2017. Colvey featured in four of six 2018 World Cup qualification matches for New Zealand against Fiji, Solomon Islands and Peru in 2017.

Midfielder Shkëlzen Gashi came on as a substitute last weekend in the 65th minute against New York Red Bulls. Gashi scored his first goal of the season in the 2-0 victory over Toronto FC on April 14, is back in the Rapids 18 for after missing last weekend’s game against Sporting KC due to injury. The Zürich, Switzerland native notched 17 appearances, two goals and one assist in 2017.

Goalkeeper Zac MacMath appears on the bench this week after getting his first start of the season three weeks ago against Orlando City SC. He enters his fourth season in Colorado with 158 minutes played and nine saves.

Striker Jack McBean scored his first goal of the season in the 85th minute against the Red Bulls last Saturday. McBean enters his eighth MLS season - first with the Rapids - after being acquired from the LA Galaxy on December 14, 2017. He’s played a total of 225 minutes for the Rapids this season and has eight shots.

Midfielder Dillon Serna came off the bench last weekend against New York Red Bulls in the 73rd minute for Sam Nicholson. The Homegrown product from Brighton, Colorado, enters his sixth season with the club. Serna has made 77 appearances for the Rapids, scoring eight goals in 3,700 minutes.

Defender Axel Sjöberg has been solid this for the Rapids this season when his named is called to the Starting XI. This week he appears on the bench in lieu of Danny Wilson's return to center of the Rapids defense. Sjöberg is entering his fourth season with the club after being selected 13th overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. He has made 68 appearances for the club, scoring three goals.

Injury Report

  • Ford (Sprained MCL, 8-10 weeks)
  • Hairston (Knee, 2-3 weeks)
  • Blomberg (day to day)

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