Today at 4 p.m. MT, four players will get a shot to prove to their old team that trading them away was a mistake. For the Rapids, midfielders Joshua Gatt and Mohammed Saeid return to their old stomping grounds in Minnesota, while former Rapids starters Sam Cronin and Marc Burch get the opportunity to face their old teammates.
Cronin, a midfielder and the captain of the Rapids in 2016, has started both games for Minnesota United FC since the March 31 trade. Burch has started both as well, but no players has of yet been able to get onto the stat sheet.
Rapids fans saw Gatt and Saeid for the first time in the closing minutes of last week’s game against Real Salt Lake. Both Gatt and Saeid came on late in the game, but like Burch and Cronin neither were able to get onto the score sheet.
While the players have had limited availability ahead of the match, Minnesota United FC’s head coach Adrian Heath recently spoke about what the revenge matches mean to the players.
“There’s nothing like playing against your old team,” Heath said. “As a player, you just want to do well and show that maybe they shouldn’t have done the trade. I’m sure their staff will be hoping them two don’t have exceptional games at the weekend because it is one of them things. When you do trade players or you leave players out, it can come back to haunt you.”
Since both seem to be everyday starters, the Rapids will see a lot of Cronin and Burch, but Minnesota United FC may not see much of their one of their former players. Gatt only has a total of 10 minutes played with the Rapids, while Saeid has 58 after subbing in for Nana Boateng after Boateng was injured in the first half of last week’s game.
There’s a chance that Saeid claims Boateng’s vacant starting positions today, but it’s also possible that Shkelzen Gashi hops back into the starting lineup. If he chooses Gashi, head coach Pablo Mastroeni would have to shift the lineup a bit to accommodate the position.
The Rapids travel to Minnesota in desperate need of a win. They are dead last in the Western Conference as of right now with just four points in five games played. ESPNFC recently ranked the Rapids 21st out of 22 teams in their weekly power rankings. Minnesota has five points in seven games played. If the Rapids can beat Minnesota, the team immediately ahead of them in the standings, they will at least surpass Minnesota in total points.