The Seattle Sounders are visiting the Colorado Rapids on Sunday (6 p.m. PT; JOEtv, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM) in their first meeting of the season. Here are three matchups to watch:
Raúl Ruidíaz vs. Danny Wilson
Make that three goals in as many games for Ruidíaz since being omitted from Peru’s Copa América squad. He’s second in MLS in tallies this season with nine, and no one has figured out how to slow him down. The onus this weekend will fall to Wilson, who operates in the middle of the Rapids’ three-man center back system. If he can’t keep track of Ruidíaz at all times, it could be a long night defensively in Colorado.
Josh Atencio vs. Kellyn Acosta
Atencio returned to the starting lineup in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps and was excellent on both sides of the ball, including earning his first career MLS assist. Colorado will need Acosta, who recently made a productive return to the United States national team, to be on the ball and a driving force moving forward. Whoever wins that battle in central midfield will be influential in determining Sunday’s outcome.
Alex Roldan vs. Michael Barrios
Much like Roldan’s opponent in Déiber Caicedo last weekend, Barrios is a creative and pacey player, especially when operating on the wing and cutting inside. Diego Rubio will do more of the heavy No. 9 duties in Robin Fraser’s two-forward system, which gives Barrios a little more freedom to operate underneath and out wide. If Roldan and Yeimar can keep Barrios quiet, it’ll free up Roldan to make attacking runs and keep the Rapids under pressure.