Team captain Tim Howard returns from a calf injury and will make his 22nd start of the 2019 season tonight. Howard will make his 180th MLS start tonight as well as his eighth start in the Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry. In January, the New Jersey native announced that 2019 will be the final season of his storied career. Howard was 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, Howard has featured in 96 matches, boasting 21 shutouts and recording 318 saves.
Defender Keegan Rosenberry will make his 27th consecutive start of the season tonight against Real Salt Lake. The 25-year-old is the only player that has played every minute of the 2019 MLS regular season for the Rapids. Prior to joining the club, Rosenberry spent three seasons with the Philadelphia Union, where he scored three goals and served up six assists over 81 appearances.
Defender Lalas Abubakar will make his 16th start of the season tonight for the Rapids. The Ghanaian has been a mainstay in defense since joining the Rapids on loan from Columbus Crew SC, where he appeared in 31 games since 2017 for the Ohio club.
Tommy Smith will make his 20th start of the season tonight and pair with Lalas Abubakar to anchor the back line. Smith will be facing RSL for the fourth time in his MLS career. Smith has two goals and one assist to his name in 2019, his second season with the Rapids. Since joining Colorado in 2018, Smith has recorded 52 MLS career appearances, with six goals and four assists to his name.
Homegrown defender Sam Vines will make his 17th start tonight against Real Salt Lake. Vines will make his 21st MLS appearance overall and will make his debut in the Rocky Mountain Cup. Last month, Vines participated in the 2019 MLS Homegrown Game, where he faced Chivas de Guadalajara’s Under-20 team on July 30. Vines wore the captain’s armband in the second half of the exhibition match and converted from the penalty spot to help the Homegrown side win the contest in a shootout.
Midfielder Jack Price will make his 21st appearance of the 2019 season tonight as well as his fifth appearance against rival Real Salt Lake. Price will also make his 50th MLS career start. Price has recorded 12 assists, and one goal for Colorado since being acquired from Wolverhampton on January 9, 2018. This is Price’s second season with the club.
Midfielder Kellyn Acosta will make his 25th appearance of the 2019 season tonight against Real Salt Lake. In the last meeting between these two clubs, Acosta scored in the closing minutes of the first half. Acosta is currently in his second season with the Rapids after spending his previous six years with FC Dallas. Overall, Acosta has played a total of 2,021 minutes and has recorded two goals and two assists in 2019. The US international joined the Rapids midway through the 2018 season.
Midfielder Sam Nicholson will make his 45th MLS start tonight against Real Salt Lake. Nicholson has scored one goal and has recorded three assists in 2019. Nicholson is in his second year with the Rapids, he joined the club from Minnesota United FC on May 1, 2018.
Rookie Andre Shinyashiki will make his 25th MLS appearance tonight against Real Salt Lake. Shinyashiki has recorded five goals and two assists in 2019. The 22-year-old was selected fifth overall in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft after four productive years at the University of Denver where he scored 51 goals and added 15 assists over 83 appearances at the NCAA level.
Diego Rubio will make his 21st start of the season tonight against Real Salt Lake. Rubio will be making his debut in the Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry. The 26-year-old scored a brace last week against the Houston Dynamo, which earned him a spot on the MLS Team of the Week (24). Rubio has recorded nine goals and three assists in 2019.
Forward Kei Kamara will make his 25th start of the 2019 season tonight against Real Salt Lake. The MLS veteran bagged the second hat trick of his playing career when the Rapids defeated the Montreal Impact 6-3 on August 3. Kamara has scored 11 goals in 2019 and is the first Rapids player to record double-digit goals in a season since 2014. Kamara is also the first-ever MLS player to score 10 goals in a season for five different clubs.
On the Bench:
Goalkeeper Clint Irwin will serve as the backup to Tim Howard against Real Salt Lake. Irwin has recorded seven appearances and 29 saves in 2019. Irwin made his return to Colorado after being acquired from Toronto FC on December 14, 2018. Overall, Irwin has appeared in 128 regular season games over his MLS career, recording 33 shutouts.
Defender Kofi Opare is listed on the gameday roster against Real Salt Lake. Opare currently has three appearances, all starts for the Rapids in 2019. The defender joined the Rapids in February after spending five seasons with D.C. United. In his career, Opare has recorded 80 appearances, scored four goals, and added one assist in over 6,800 minutes of regular season play.
Danny Wilson will feature on the gameday roster against RSL. The 27-year-old has 15 total appearances for the club this season. Wilson opened his MLS account on May 11, 2019 against rival Real Salt Lake. This is Wilson’s second season with the club, he featured in 23 matches in the 2018 season.
Defender Axel Sjöberg is listed on the gameday roster against Real Salt Lake. Sjöberg is in his fifth season with the Rapids after being selected in the first round (No. 14 overall) of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Sjöberg has recorded six appearances, five starts, and 432 minutes for the Rapids this season. Sjöberg was named to the MLS Best XI in 2016 after he anchored a defense that conceded a league-low 32 goals and set an MLS record for average goals against per home game of 0.41.
Homegrown midfielder Dillon Serna will feature on the gameday roster against Real Salt Lake. Serna has made 13 appearances, six starts, and has recorded one assist in 2019. This is Serna's seventh season with the club after signing on January 14, 2013. The 25-year-old has scored nine goals during his career. Serna became the first Homegrown to reach 100 regular season appearances for the club on April 27 against Atlanta United FC.
Midfielder Nicolás Mezquida will start from the bench tonight and may have an impact as a creative force if he sees the field. Since joining the Rapids this past offseason, the 27-year-old has scored three goals and added four assists, including two game-winning goals. Mezquida has recorded a total of 125 MLS appearances, 59 MLS starts, 15 goals, and eight assists in 5,518 minutes.
Jonathan Lewis will feature on the gameday roster tonight against Real Salt Lake. The winger offers pace on the wing if called upon. The 22-year-old has scored three goals and has recorded two assists for the Rapids in 2019. Lewis currently has 11 appearances for the Rapids in 2019 since being acquired via a trade with NYCFC on May 7, 2019.