MLS

St. Louis City v Colorado Rapids: Carnell desperate for response as winless run persists

By Sports Desk June 18, 2024

St. Louis City will be desperate to snap a record six-game winless run in MLS when they host Colorado Rapids at CityPark Stadium on Thursday.

The Missouri-based side have just three wins from their 17 league matches this term, falling down to 11th in the Western Conference standings.

Bradley Carnell's men have not triumphed in MLS action since a 3-1 win over Chicago Fire in the middle of May, and were defeated 2-0 by FC Dallas last time out.

St. Louis coach Carnell referenced injury struggles, however, as his side continue to battle through a troubling period.

"Obviously, it doesn’t take a genius to look at the roster and see where we are. We're not the first team to struggle with this.

"Now we get challenged and now get to prove what we are as a group, team, organisation and unit – sticking together.

"We have a plethora of young players who are performing [for our academy] and we will keep some of those guys with us through the week."

The Rapids have enjoyed a better season, sitting sixth in the West table after returning to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Austin FC at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

That ended a four-game winless streak for Colorado, who secured a much-needed victory after a rocketed finish from Cole Bassett before Rafael Navarro netted his 10th goal of the season.

The next challenge for the Rapids is to secure back-to-back victories for the first time since April, though they have lost three straight on the road.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

St. Louis City – Jared Stroud

Jared Stroud was involved in a goal in both matches (one goal, one assist) against the Rapids last season.

The St. Louis man has eight assists to his name in MLS this season, too, and will hope to deliver once more when Colorado come to town.

Colorado Rapids – Djordje Mihailovic

Djordje Mihailovic has scored in each of the Rapids' last three away matches.

He is the first Rapids player to score in three straight away from home in a single regular season since Shkelzen Gashi scored in five straight on the road from June-October 2016.

MATCH PREDICTION – ST. LOUIS CITY WIN

St. Louis are the heavy favourites for victory in this encounter, considering their record against the Rapids.

Carnell's side collected four points from their two matches against Colorado last season, including a 2-0 win at home last July.

Colorado have lost their last three road matches, conceding 10 goals in those games, and that run of form comes as no surprise.

Indeed, the Rapids have lost 15 of their last 21 away from home in all competitions (W3 D3), dating back to last May.

Yet a home win is by no means a foregone conclusion.

St. Louis are winless in six straight matches (D2 L4) for the first time in club history. They have just three wins so far, tied for the fewest in MLS this season, though all three have come at home.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

St. Louis City win – 48.8%

Colorado Rapids win – 25.5%

Draw – 25.7%

Related items

  • Spain 2-1 England: Oyarzabal's late heroics power La Roja to Euro 2024 glory Spain 2-1 England: Oyarzabal's late heroics power La Roja to Euro 2024 glory

    Mikel Oyarzabal proved the late hero as his winner saw Spain down England 2-1 on Sunday.

    Spain became the first team in history to win the European Championship on four separate occasions as Oyarzabal's smart finish four minutes from time sealed a historic victory in Berlin.

    Substitute Cole Palmer had earlier cancelled out Nico Williams' second-half opener, only for Real Sociedad's Oyarzabal to break English hearts in the Three Lions' second consecutive Euros final.

    Gareth Southgate's side almost levelled in the final minute, but Unai Simon and Dani Olmo were the defensive heroes for Spain as England became the first team to lose back-to-back Euros finals.

    A tentative first half was devoid of gilt-edged opportunities as Spain dominated possession without reward against England's well-drilled defence.

    Phil Foden spurned the best chance before the break, but he volleyed tamely straight at Simon.

    The injured Rodri was removed at half-time for Martin Zubimendi in a huge Spanish blow, yet that mattered for little as La Roja cut through England with ease immediately after the interval.

    Yamal ghosted inside from the right flank before sliding across towards the left of the area for an unchallenged Williams to caress a left-footed strike into the bottom-right corner.

    Williams found space once more just minutes later, arrowing a left-footed drive wide from a similar angle to the opener.

    Stones was required to clear off the line from Alvaro Morata, while Williams hammered off target from range and Jordan Pickford superbly denied Yamal.

    Spain's failure to capitalise was punished eight minutes later. A sweeping Three Lions break saw Bukayo Saka roll inside for Jude Bellingham before his offload teed up Palmer, whose guided left-footed finish from outside the box found the bottom-left corner just three minutes after his introduction.

    Pickford was once again equal to Yamal eight minutes from time, parrying away another strong two-handed save after Olmo and Williams combined to set up their teenage team-mate.

    Yet Pickford had no answer when Marc Cucurella whipped low across for Oyarzabal, who prodded into the bottom-left corner for the decisive goal.

    There was time for one more twist, but Simon and Olmo stood firm to thwart Rice and Stones respectively as Spain clung on for glory.

    Wing wizards pave way for La Roja success

    Barcelona winger Yamal, aged just 17 years and one day, surpassed Brazil's Pele – at the 1958 World Cup – as the youngest-ever player to feature in a major tournament final.

    Yet another piece of history was not enough for Yamal, who has been involved in more goals for Spain in all competitions than any other player since his debut in September 2023 (10 – three goals, seven assists).

    His deft assist for Williams added another memorable moment for his embryonic career, and Spain supporters may be relishing the partnership of their two star wingers in future years.

    But it was La Real's Oyarzabal who proved the hero, sneaking in past Pickford to inflict further heartbreak on Southgate's England as two substitutes scored in the final of the Euros or World Cup for the first time.

    Familiar fate for Three Lions

    England suffered heartbreak in the delayed Euro 2020 final after penalty shoot-out failure against Italy, and though they battled all the way, failed to make amends in their first international showpiece away from home soil.

    The Three Lions did themselves no favours immediately after the interval, conceding the fastest goal in the second half of a Euros final, continuing a concerning trend overall.

    England have now conceded the first goal in four consecutive matches for the first time since May/June 1985, and those defensive fragilities were exposed once more when Oyarzabal found a pocket of space for the winner.

    Oyarzabal's magic moment may forever haunt Southgate, who could soon depart as England manager as the first head coach in European Championship history to lose two finals.

    England are also the first side to lose two consecutive Euros finals, and a new era could await after the Three Lions went so close without reward once again.

  • Spain's Yamal breaks Pele record to make further history in Euro 2024 final Spain's Yamal breaks Pele record to make further history in Euro 2024 final

    Lamine Yamal made further history as the youngest player to ever appear in a World Cup or European Championship final.

    The Barcelona winger started for Spain in Sunday's Euro 2024 final against England in Berlin.

    Aged just 17 years and one day, Yamal surpassed Pele's record from the 1958 World Cup, with the Brazilian then 17 years and 249 days old against Sweden.

    The teenager has enjoyed a remarkable tournament for La Roja so far, scoring an eye-catching leveller in Tuesday's 2-1 semi-final victory over France.

    Yamal also has three assists in Germany, the most by a Spanish player at the tournament in history.

    At the other end of the spectrum, Luis de la Fuente – aged 63 years and 23 days – is the third-oldest manager to take charge of a European Championship final.

    The Spain head coach ranks only behind Luis Aragones, also with Spain in 2008 (69y 337d), and Greece's Otto Rehhagel in 2004 (65y 330d), both of whom won the trophy.

    La Roja are aiming to become the first team to win the competition on four separate occasions, having lifted the trophy in 1964, 2008 and 2012.

    There was also a further slice of history for Yamal, though, which he shared with England midfielder Kobbie Mainoo.

    It marked the first time two teenagers have started a Euros or World Cup final.

  • Manchester United bring in Dutch striker Zirkzee Manchester United bring in Dutch striker Zirkzee

    Manchester United have completed the signing of Joshua Zirkzee from Bologna for £35million (€42.5m).

    The Netherlands international, who was part of the side that reached the Euro 2024 semi-finals, has put pen to paper on a five-year deal at Old Trafford, with the option for a further year.

    Zirkzee is United's first major signing of the transfer window, as Erik ten Hag looks to improve on the Red Devils' disappointing eighth-place finish in the Premier League last season.

    The 23-year-old scored 11 Serie A goals last term as Bologna secured Champions League qualification for the first time in their history.

    Zirkzee told United's official website: "Having had discussions with the manager and the leaders of the club I know how exciting the future is going to be here and I cannot wait to play my part in achieving success for Manchester United.

    "I am a player who has always dedicated everything to winning; I’m ready for this next challenge, to go to another level in my career and win more trophies.

    "It is a privilege to join such an iconic club. I have to take a short break now after being with the national team, but I’ll be coming back ready to make an impact straight away."

    United sporting director Dan Ashworth believes the addition of Zirkzee, who outperformed his league expected goals (xG) of 9.0 by two goals last season, represents a major positive for the club.

    "Securing a forward to enhance our already strong group of attacking players was a key aim for this summer," Ashworth said.

    "We are delighted that we’ve managed to sign a player of Joshua’s calibre this early in the transfer window.

    "Joshua is an outstanding talent who is ready to make an impact for Manchester United. His ability and desire to grow into a world-class player means that he will be a great addition to the squad that we are building for the exciting season ahead and beyond."

    United are also interested in bringing Zirkzee's Netherlands team-mate Matthijs de Ligt, with the defender reportedly keen to leave Bayern Munich.

    Everton, meanwhile, have rejected two offers from United for centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.