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FC Cincinnati v Colorado Rapids: Armas wants players to enjoy rise

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Apr 2024

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Chris Armas says his Colorado Rapids players deserve to enjoy their meteoric rise up the MLS standings, and he is confident they will not get carried away ahead of their trip to FC Cincinnati.

Colorado sit fourth in the Western Conference with 15 points from nine games, winning three of their last four after an inconsistent start to the year.

They benefitted from two own goals as they beat FC Dallas 2-1 last time out, and Armas has no issue with his players enjoying their place in the standings, particularly given they finished rock bottom of the West in 2023.

“I see the boys looking at the TV where we have the standings posted, and they see that we’re climbing, so it’s all good stuff,” Armas said.

“From day one the message that I preached is that everything we do will be based on hard work and that we will never get too low on ourselves.

“We don’t get too high, the boys are realistic. That part’s not that hard and our group is hungry and looking to improve every day.”

Supporters’ Shield holders Cincinnati have had an up-and-down start, going unbeaten through their first five games of the year before suffering back-to-back defeats against the New York Red Bulls and CF Montreal (both 1-2).

However, Pat Noonan’s men bounced back with a statement 2-1 victory over Atlanta United last week, and defender Matt Miazga hopes that result will be a turning point.

“I look at everybody and I’m like, ‘Alright, I see in his face, I see in his face. We want it,'” Miazga said.

“We all realised we are a top team, with big personalities, big characters, and it’s time to show up in big moments.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

FC Cincinnati – Luciano Acosta

Acosta assisted Cincinnati’s equaliser against Atlanta last Saturday before scoring the winner two minutes later.

That was Acosta’s 13th regular-season match with a goal and an assist since the start of the 2022 season, three more than any other player in MLS has managed during that time.

Colorado Rapids – Djordje Mihailovic

Mihailovic has created at least twice as many chances as any other Colorado player in MLS this term (16), with Keegan Rosenberry and Sam Vines creating eight apiece.

He also has two goals and one assist to his name, while only Rafael Navarro (16) has bettered his 10 successful dribbles among his team-mates.

MATCH PREDICTION – FC CINCINNATI WIN

Cincinnati earned their first win over the Rapids last May, triumphing 1-0 on the road. The Rapids had won the first two meetings between the sides, including a 2-0 victory on their only previous trip to Cincinnati.

The Rapids also enter Saturday’s game having won successive regular-season matches for the first time since September 2022, eyeing their first three-game winning streak since August 2021.

However, Cincinnati ended their poor run by beating Atlanta last time out and have, despite some underwhelming performances, only lost two of their nine league games this term (four wins, three draws). On home soil, the Supporters’ Shield holders are favourites.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

FC Cincinnati – 49.3%

Colorado Rapids – 23.3%

Draw – 27.4%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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