Midfielder Cole Bassett will make his mark today as the youngest starter in Rapids history at 17 years of age. He became the youngest Rapids player to ever feature in an MLS match at 17 years and 42 days on September 8 against the Portland Timbers. In total, the Homegrown midfielder has featured in three games for a total of 43 minutes.
Midfielder Nana Boateng will lace up in the Starting XI today for the 12th time. The 24-year-old scored his first MLS goal on August 11 at home in the final kick of the game against the San Jose Earthquakes. Boateng has featured 17 times this season, and has recorded one goal and one assist.
Forward Yannick Boli came on the pitch last weekend in the 53 minute for Giles Barnes. Boli has featured 15 times (600 minutes) in his first season with the Rapids, seven from the start. The Frenchman opened his account on May 26 at home against the Portland Timbers after converting on a penalty kick.
Wingback Edgar Castillo led the Rapids last weekend with two chances created and shared a team high 84 touches with Marlon Hairston. The talented defender tops the team with five assists this season and has featured a combined 2,395 minutes in 27 total starts in 2018. Castillo scored his second goal of the year the last time Colorado played Minnesota - a strike that would be nominated for Goal of the Week in Week 17.
Midfielder/Forward Shkëlzen Gashi will lead the attack alongside Giles Barnes for a second consecutive week. Gashi has been on the score-sheet twice this campaign and has an equal number of assists. The Zürich, Switzerland native will start for the seventh time this season. He has made 12 substitute appearances in 2018.
Midfielder Marlon Hairston is in the Starting XI today for his 11th time this year. In his fifth season with the Rapids, Hairston has made 12 appearances, 10 from the start and has played 837 minutes. The 24-year-old co-led the team with 84 total touches and led the team with five crosses against LAFC last Saturday.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard topped the 100 saves mark on September 22 against Columbus Crew SC. He currently has 112 saves, which ranks third overall this MLS season. Today's game marks Howard's 73rd game, all from the start, since joining the club in 2016. The US Men's national team legend has four clean sheets in 2018 and an MLS career total 692 saves. He has been named to the MLS Team of the Week three times this season (Week 4,18, and 28).
Midfielder Jack Price has featured 29 times (2,570 minutes) in his first season with the Rapids, all from the start. This is the second most by any player. He led the Rapids with a team high four intercepted passes, 16 good long balls and co-led with two created chances against LAFC. The Englishman has logged one goal and four assists including one game-winning goal (vs Toronto) and one game-winning assist (vs Philadelphia). Price was named to the MLS Team of the Week in Week 7.
Midfielder Dillon Serna topped the 1,000 minute mark on the year for only the second time in his career with 1,001 minutes in 2018. He played 90-minutes last weekend against LAFC at the top of the Rapids’ diamond. Serna scored his first goal of the 2018 season with an 88th minute equalizer in the dying minutes against RSL on July 21. The Homegrown player has featured 18 times this season in his sixth campaign with the Rapids.
Centerback Axel Sjöberg makes his second-consecutive Starting XI appearance at centerback today against the Loons. The towering 6’7” Swede has made 14 appearances for Colorado, 12 from the start, registering 1,060 minutes in his fourth season with the Rapids.
Centerback Tommy Smith has played 2,790 minutes in 31 consecutive starts in 2018. The Englishman scored the last second game-winning goal the last time the sides met in June to cap a 3-2 home win in front of the Rapids faithful. He has been named to the MLS Team of the Week on two occasions (Week 16 and 18). Smith is the only player to start in every game for the Rapids this campaign.
On the Bench:
Forward Giles Barnes has been in the Rapids 18 nine times since joining on July 13 from Club León. The Jamaican international has been kept to only 520 minutes this season due to an ankle injury that kept him sidelined for a total of four matches.
Midfielder Johan Blomberg played 52 minutes before being subbed out for Niki Jackson last weekend at home against LAFC. Blomberg has featured in 23 games (1,597 minutes), 20 from the start, in his first year with the Rapids. The Swede has recorded three assists in 2018. Blomberg and Danny Wilson are tied in fourth place for most games played.
Midfielder Sam Hamilton could get his first MLS minutes in this 2018 campaign if he is to sub on this afternoon. The 23-year-old from Evergreen, Colorado was signed to a contract on March 4, 2017, having been selected in the first round (15th overall) in the MLS Superdraft.
Forward Niki Jackson subbed on in the 53rd minute weekend against LAFC. The Memphis, TN native has scored two goals in 389 minutes in his rookie season.
Midfielder Enzo Martinez will look to come off the bench for the seventh time this season. The Montevideo, Uruguay native has logged two assists in his first season with the Rapids.
Goalkeeper Zac MacMath, currently in his fourth season with the Colorado Rapids, has featured in two games (158 minutes), one from the start. The St. Petersburg, Florida native has recorded nine saves this season.
Wingback Deklan Wynne has made 20 starts for the club in his first season in Colorado. The 23-year-old has racked up 1,826 minutes and logged an MLS Team of the Week selection in Week 5. He was an unused substitute last weekend against LAFC.