The Cardinals and the Rockies. The Blues and the Avalanche. The Hawks and the Nu… no, wait, they never crossed paths. Whatever. On Saturday, fans get to see this particular rivalry played out on Colorado’s mountain green. How will it go? Let’s fire up the magic eight ball and find out…
Will St. Louis Beat Colorado? It Is Decidedly So.
Let’s start by looking at the table. St. Louis sits atop the West and all of MLS, while the Colorado Rapids are in eleventh in the West and 23rd overall. Now, let’s look at ESPN’s power rankings which feature St. Louis City at third (behind LAFC and Seattle Sounders respectively) and Colorado – oh lord – at 21st (MLSsoccer.com is slightly kinder to the Rapids, putting them at 20th overall). So, judging from that data, the conventional wisdom would be that St. Louis City will win.
But how about some “unconventional” wisdom? The game kicks off at 7:30 Mountain time. Do you know what happens at 8:00 mountain time? Game three of the Stanley Cup playoffs between The Avalanche and the Kraken in Seattle (see more about the series here). And for those of you who don’t follow hockey, that would be the Stanley Cup defending champion Avalanche.
So it’s fair to ask the question, if a legitimate Stanley Cup run is happening for Colorado sports fans, do any of them show up at DSG Park? If the answer is no, that adds to St. Louis’s advantage. Along with, you know, their skill, cunning, firepower, flexibility, and teamwork. And the fact that Colorado is winless at home this season.
Will St. Louis Beat Colorado? Outlook Is Not So Good.
— St Louis CITY SC (@stlCITYsc) April 16, 2023
Here are two numbers that should give fans of St. Louis City pause: 22500 and 5200. The first number represents the seating capacity at CityPark in St. Louis – and if you don’t think that those fans brought a profound level of energy to their team, and intimidation to FC Cincinnati, then you should go back and look at the tape again.
Starting with Jared Stroud’s goal in the third minute, and ending with Rasmus Alm’s that bounced in off of Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano in the 57-minute. The team won’t have that support – which may or may not have been fueled by a beer-soaked two-hour tornado delay – when they take the field in Colorado on Saturday. Will the team still be able to generate the ferocious energy they showed the Garys without it? Hard to say. They certainly didn’t have it in their previous road game against Seattle.
And the second number? That’s the elevation of DSG Park in Commerce, Colorado. Which is about 750 feet higher than where RSL plays. And while neither of them is quite as extreme as, say, the Azteca, higher altitudes take their toll on players who are not used to it. Now, admittedly, St. Louis won in Sandy, Utah – and won handily. But the Rapids are not RSL, which is probably why Draftkings has them favorited in this match +100 to +230 for St. Louis.
Will St. Louis Beat Colorado? Reply Hazy, Try Again
It seems odd that DraftKings thinks a draw is the least likely option on Saturday (at +250) since the Rapids are clearly the king of them this season. 1-1 v Austin, 0-0 v LAFC, and then last week, 2-2 v. Charlotte. That’s more than a third of their matches. Two of which came at home. And St. Louis? They haven’t drawn anyone. So one could say that they’re due. And if Robin Fraser decides he wants to protect himself from what happened to Pat Noonan last weekend, he may just dial up the defense and wait for St. Louis out.
Will St. Louis beat Colorado? Tune in on Saturday, April 22nd, at 8:30 pm Central, 7:30 pm Mountain.
A win before Tuesday’s Open Cup match against Omaha, and their home game against Portland the following Saturday would be a nice momentum build – and could keep the match against the Timbers from becoming a trap game (remember, they just put a beat-down on Seattle). And with Seattle hosting the mercurial Loons and New England doing the same with gutter dwellers Sporting KC – a win would keep St. Louis City ahead of both of those sides, regardless of how those games turned out. Which is a long-winded way of saying “A win would be good”. Okay, not the most insightful analysis. But hey, that’s what Commissioner Garber wanted, right? A league where anything was possible. And anyway, what do you expect from a guy who’s using a magic eight-ball to figure this stuff out?
Photo Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports on April 15, 2023, of the St. Louis CITY SC Headshot.
The post Will St. Louis Beat Colorado? The Age-Old Question In MLS appeared first on Last Word On Soccer.