Midfielder Kellyn Acosta will feature at the top of the Rapids' diamond. In his first season with the Rapids, Acosta has notched two goals and two assists and has played 590 total minutes in seven starts. Acosta was named to the MLS Team of the Week (Week 24) and has been nominated for Goal of the Week on two consecutive occasions (Week's 22 and 23). Last week vs Atlanta, he co-led the team with three created chances.
Midfielder Johan Blomberg will play at the right midfielder position today against Columbus Crew SC. The Swede played all 90 minutes during his most recent start against the Portland Timbers (at Portland) and recorded 39 successful passes, one cross, and three intercepted passes. Blomberg has played 1,435 minutes and has featured for the Rapids a total of 20 times. Today marks his 19th start.
Midfielder Shkëlzen Gashi will be making his fifth start of the season, as he heads up the Rapids attack. The Zürich, Switzerland native was amongst the leaders with three created chances last weekend against Atlanta United FC. Gashi has featured 16 times for the Rapids, four from the start, and has logged 457 minutes. He has one goal and two assists. He has come off the bench for the Rapids a combined 12 times in 2018.
Midfielder Marlon Hairston is in the Rapids' Starting XI for two consecutive weeks. He led the Rapids with two crosses last weekend against Atlanta. In his fifth season with the Rapids, Hairston has made nine appearances, eight from the start and has played 658 minutes. The 24-year-old has made one appearance off the bench in 2018.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard is on the brink of topping 100 saves on the season. He currently has 98 saves, his best in burgundy and his third-best in MLS. He starts in goal for his 69th game since joining the club in 2016. His performance against San Jose earned him his third MLS Team of the Week (24) selection of this season. The US Men's national team legend has four clean sheets in 2018. He was named to the MLS Team of the Week during Week 4, in Week 18 after his 10-save performance during the 1-0 road win in Vancouver and most recently Week 28, as he appeared on the bench in the MLS Team of the Week.
Midfielder Enzo Martinez will pair up top with Gashi for his 14th start. Martinez has logged 1,239 minutes in 19 appearances and has two assists on the year. The Uruguayan will be looking to score his first goal with the Rapids.
Midfielder Jack Price led the team with 53 successful passes, two interceptions and seven good long balls against Atlanta. In his first season with the Rapids, Price has started 26 times and played 2,300 minutes. He has one goal and four assists. The Englishman has logged one game-winning goal (vs Toronto) and one game-winning assist (vs Philadelphia) this season. He leads the team with 1,967 touches and 1,629 attempted passes in 2018.
Midfielder Dillon Serna is in the Starting XI for the sixth time this season. He played his fifth 90-minute game last weekend vs Atlanta. Serna scored his first goal of the 2018 season with an 88th minute equalizer in the dying minutes against RSL. The Homegrown player has featured 15 times this season, five from the start, racking up 731 minutes.
Centerback Tommy Smith has played 2,520 minutes in 28 consecutive starts in 2018. Smith notched 39 successful passes, 55 touches, and one intercepted pass against Atlanta. Tommy opened up the scoreline and notched his third MLS goal at home against San Jose on August 11. He has been named to the MLS Team of the Week on two occasions (Week 17 and 18). Smith is the only player to start in every game for the Rapids.
Centerback Danny Wilson returns to the Starting XI today on the road against Columbus. He is third amongst defenders with 59 total clearances in 2018. Wilson has recorded 1,755 minutes, seven shots and an assist in his first season with the Rapids in which he has featured 21 times, 20 from the start. Wilson played five games in the midfield earlier this season.
Wingback Deklan Wynne will make his 19th start for the club, as he features today at the left wingback spot. The versatile defender has played 1,685 minutes and logged a MLS Team of the Week selection in week five. The Rapids acquired Wynne from Vancouver last December. He has made 20 appearances for Colorado.
On the Bench:
Forward Giles Barnes will look to come off the bench today on the road in Columbus. The London, England native has made four starts in six appearances for Colorado. He's logged 345 minutes on the season.
Midfielder Cole Bassett became the youngest Rapid to ever feature in an MLS match at 17 years and 42 days two weeks ago against Portland. He played eight minutes last weekend during his professional home debut at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park.
Midfielder Nana Boateng notched 41 successful passes, one cross, and 60 touches in the 3-0 loss to Atlanta. The 24-year-old scored his first MLS goal on August 11 at home in the last kick of the game against San Jose. Boateng has featured 15 times this season, 10 from the start and has one goal and one assist.
Forward Yannick Boli is back in the Rapids 18 for the first time since August 19. The Frenchman has made seven appearances off the bench this season. Boli has featured 14 times, seven from the start and has played 563 minutes.
Goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra is in the Rapids 18 for the first time this MLS Regular Season. Dykstra has played a combined 1,980 minutes in 26 matches for Charlotte Independence, 25 from the start, and has four clean sheets in 2018. He will take the place of Zac MacMath on the bench today, as the MacMath family is tending to their newborn baby boy.
Forward Niki Jackson subbed on at halftime last weekend for an injured Sam Nicholson. The Memphis, TN native has scored two goals in 254 minutes in his rookie season.
Centerback Axel Sjöberg returns from injury and is available off the bench for today's clash against Columbus. The Swede has made 13 appearances for Colorado registering 974 minutes