Goalkeeper Tim Howard was named to the MLS Team of the Week (Week 1) after his performance against the Timbers in the Rapids home opener. Tonight will mark Howard's fourth consecutive start of the 2019 season. In January, the New Jersey native announced that 2019 will be his final season in his storied playing career. Howard has been a mainstay on the US men's national team and spent more than 10 years in England before rejoining MLS with the Rapids in 2016. Since then, the Howard has featured in 78 games, boasting 18 shutouts, two against FC Dallas.
Defender Keegan Rosenberry made his third start with the Rapids last Sunday against Sporting Kansas City after spending three seasons with the Philadelphia Union. The Pennsylvania native has played every minute of the 2019 season so far. A technically skilled right back, Rosenberry will be looking to become a regular in the Rapids lineup after coming off a bounce-back season with the Union in 2018. He made 32 regular season appearances with the Union in 2018, 31 from the start, registering one goal and three assists. This afternoon will mark Rosenberry's fourth appearance against FC Dallas in his MLS career.
Defender Axel Sjöberg will make his third start of the 2019 season. Sjöberg enters his fifth season with the Rapids after being selected in the first round (No. 14 overall) of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. The Swede's organization and ability in the air on set pieces will be crucial against Dallas. He has started in seven of the Rapids last 10 encounters with the Texas club.
Defender Tommy Smith will make his first start of the 2019 season after recovering from a leg injury that saw him sidelined for the first three games. Smith is in his second season with the Rapids after starting in 33 regular season games with the club in 2018, scoring four goals and three assists. Smith scored a game-winning goal in the Rapids' last meeting with FC Dallas on October 28.
Homegrown Defender Dillon Serna will make his fourth start of the season this afternoon against FC Dallas. He has played in every minute of the 2019 season. The Homegrown was named Man of the Match after his performance against the Timbers during the Rapids season opening match. This is Serna's seventh season with the club after signing on January 14, 2013, and he is just 6 games away from making his 100th regular season appearance for the Rapids. Serna has scored twice against FC Dallas, both in 2015, including this long-range goalazo.
Homegrown midfielder Cole Bassett will make his second start of the season. The 17-year-old became the youngest player to sign with the club when he inked his Homegrown contract on August 10. Following his signing, Bassett made an immediate impact, earning three starts in six appearances and scoring his first MLS goal in a 2-1 win over FC Dallas on October 28. The midfielder was named to the MLS Team of the Week twice in 2018.
Midfielder Jack Price will make his third start of the season tonight against FC Dallas after going the full 90 last Sunday against Sporting Kansas City. Price enters his second season with the Rapids after spending his previous seven years with Wolverhampton Wanders FC. His vision, passing range and tactical awareness proved successful during his first MLS season in 31 appearances.
Midfielder Kellyn Acosta will make his fourth start of the season tonight against FC Dallas. The midfielder grabbed his first assist of the 2019 season feeding Kei Kamara in the 16th minute of the 3-3 draw in the Rapids season opening game. Last Sunday, Acosta put in an 79-minute shift against SKC before being replaced by Johan Blomberg. Today marks Acosta's first time playing at Toyota Stadium since being traded to the Rapids in July after spending his entire MLS career with FC Dallas. The US international started all 12 matches following the trade, scoring two goals and adding three assists in 2018. Overall, the 23-year-old has 11 goals and 16 assists in his MLS career.
Midfielder Nicolás Mezquida will make his fourth start for the Rapids tonight after spending five seasons with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Uruguayan is a positionally versatile attacker, proficient at both setting up teammates and finishing in the attack. Since arriving in MLS, he has scored 12 goals and added four assists in over 4,000 minutes of regular season play. His bicycle kick goal in Whitecaps FC's 4-0 victory over FC Dallas in 2017 was selected as an MLS Goal of the Year finalist.
Forward Andre Shinyashiki will earn his first-ever MLS start this afternoon against FC Dallas. The 21-year-old scored the dramatic stoppage time equalizer in the 3-3 draw against Portland at the Rapids' home opener, which would eventually be voted MLS Goal of the Week (Week 1). Shinyashiki subbed on in the 84th minute for Diego Rubio last Sunday. The rookie was selected fifth overall in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft after four productive years at the University of Denver after scoring 51 goals and adding 15 assists over his 83 appearances at the NCAA level.
Forward Kei Kamara will make his fourth start for the club tonight after spending 2018 with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The MLS veteran scored the first goal of the 2019 campaign against the Portland Timbers during his Rapids debut. The goal was Kamara's 113th career MLS goal, good enough for sixth in league history. The 34-year-old has scored five times against FC Dallas in his MLS career. He is just two goals away from passing Ante Razov for fifth place in all-time MLS goals. Kamara has also added 44 career assists in over 23,000 minutes of regular season play, and has played in every minute of the 2019 campaign.
On the Bench:
Goalkeeper Clint Irwin rejoins the Rapids in 2018 after spending three seasons with Toronto FC. The 'keeper has appeared in 121 regular season games over his six-year MLS career, recording 33 shutouts. Two of those shutouts were against FC Dallas.
Defender Deklan Wynne begins tonight's match on the bench after playing in all 270 minutes of the first three games. The 23-year-old enters his second season in Colorado after making 25 regular season appearances with the Rapids in 2018, 22 from the start.
Defender Danny Wilson makes the gameday roster for the fourth consecutive week. Wilson is in his second season with the club, featuring in 23 games in 2018.
Midfielder Nana Boateng makes his first appearance on the gameday roster in 2019. The Ghanaian is in his third season with the club after spending four seasons on loan from Manchester City at Norwegian club, Strømsgodset IF. Since joining the Rapids on January 24, 2017, Boateng has featured in 38 games for the club, scoring one goal and adding two assists. Boateng has started in the last four encounters with FC Dallas.
Midfielder Sam Nicholson makes his first appearance on the gameday roster since recovering from a back injury that saw him sidelined since September 2018. Nicholson enters his second season with the Rapids after spending his previous two years with Minnesota United FC. The winger found the back of the net twice in 19 appearances in 2018.
Homegrown defender Sam Vines features on the gameday roster against Dallas. Vines made his MLS debut during the Rapids final away game of 2018 against the San Jose Earthquakes on October 21.
Forward Niki Jackson makes the gameday roster for the fourth consecutive week. The forward provides depth and pace off the bench and subbed on in the 85th minute against Seattle for his 2019 debut. He enters his second season with the Rapids after being selected No. 73 overall in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. The 23-year-old featured in 15 games in 2018, scoring three goals.