Colorado Rapids v St. Louis City: Armas aiming to build on impressive home form to keep pace with le


Chris Armas is aiming to continue Colorado Rapids’ impressive home form ahead of their fixture with St. Louis City this weekend.

The Rapids returned to winning ways following their defeat away to LAFC, as Djordje Mihailovic’s 94th minute penalty ensured Colorado maintained their three-game winning run on home soil.

Armas’ side sit fourth in the Western Conference table, three points ahead of Vancouver Whitecaps but looking to chase down the top three in the division.

The Rapids head coach is keen to make Dick’s Sporting Goods Park a fortress this season, praising the fans for their contribution to their recent home results.

“When I was a player, I played in Colorado against the Rapids and I didn’t like it,” Armas said.

“The fans are tough and I love that I got to team up with them now and put out an attacking team for them who goes after it and make them proud.

“We do try to have a mentality, and we have it home and away. At home, with our fans, with altitude and the energy of the building, our pitch, the comfort of our own home.

“You can see that teams will come here and try to slow the game down a bit. It can be frustrating at moments but what I love most, is the energy of the crowd.”

For St. Louis, Interim head coach John Hackworth marked his first game in charge with a much-needed victory over San Jose Earthquakes last time out.

It’s Hackworth’s second spell in interim charge following the sacking of Bradley Carnell after a run of nine MLS games without a win.

Their triumph sees them remain in 12th place in the Western Conference, a point behind FC Dallas.

Hackworth acknowledged the importance of the victory last time out, but insisted the win was just a step in the right direction and nothing more.

“It’s been a tough week, there is no doubt about that,” Hackworth said.

“The players, the staff, the club, when you make a change to the head coach it’s never easy.

“So, in a short amount of time I think you saw the resilience of this group. A group that has been successful in the past. It hasn’t happened for us this year, but I am really proud of them in this moment to come together in a tough moment.

“For us, while it’s very satisfying, it is not a game that we are going to go crazy about and celebrate and say we have turned out season around because we haven’t.

“It’s just the first step of trying to get us back in the right direction.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Colorado Rapids – Djordje Mihailovic

Djordje Mihailovic has been in fine form for the Rapids, with his stoppage time penalty against Sporting Kansas City the 10th goal the American has scored this season – his best tally in a single season.

Mihailovic has 18 goal contributions this season (10 goals, eight assists), only managing to record more in 2021 during his time with CF Montreal (20).

St. Louis City – Indiana Vassilev

Indiana Vassilev assisted both of St. Louis City SC’s goals on Wednesday against San Jose, becoming the first player to record multiple assists in a match for the team this season.

Vassilev’s nine MLS assists for St. Louis City have set up goals for seven different players.

MATCH PREDICTION: COLORADO RAPIDS WIN

Having won three home matches for the first time since September – October 2022, Colorado are heavily backed by Opta’s data-led simulations to continue their winning run on home turf.

The Rapids last had a longer winning streak at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park during a six-match run from August 2019 to March 2020.

But based on previous results, it looks set to be a tightly contested affair. Each team has recorded a win in their last three meetings, with a fast start expected. Three of the five goals scored in the last two meetings were netted in the game’s opening 11 minutes.

However, St. Louis will be buoyed following their recent victory over San Jose on Wednesday. City are still looking for their first away win of the season in all competitions (D5 L5), but will be hopeful of bursting the Rapids’ bubble.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Colorado Rapids – 49.4%

Draw – 25.5%

St. Louis City – 25.1%





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