Colorado Rush will travel south to take on Colorado Springs FC in this match up of two Colorado conference rivals. This is the final stretch for Rush in the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) Colorado conference and will be the difference of being in the playoffs or watching from the stands. There are three games left in the season and each one of them is a must win for Rush.
Currently Rush sits in third place which is good enough for the top four team playoff format but there are two teams creeping up behind them that could very easily knock them off if Rush doesn’t come up with a result this weekend. If the task wasn’t tall enough, Rush will be taking on Colorado Springs FC who sits above them in second place and have had an excellent season thus far.
Springs FC is coming off a loss against the top team in the Colorado conference FC Greeley who is playing in top form and are on pace to keep the top spot in the division. The much more startling result is Rush coming off of a tie to the last place team in the conference that they had to battle back against just to steal a point.
Each team in the conference meets up twice a season and in the first clash between these two sides Rush walked away with a 2-0 victory but the game was much closer than the score line suggests. Neither one of these teams is carrying much momentum into this game but both have a lot to play for as the season dwindles to a close.
In the past few games Rush has been faced with some adversity with key players unavailable and some major injuries plaguing them. Even with these set backs Rush has a deep and talented enough squad to find a way to get the W in each of their remaining games of the season.
The most glaring issue for Rush right now is the ability for teams to catch them on the counter attack when their back line is out of position. In the last three games each team has conceded that Rush is the more talented side and are willing to let them keep the ball for the majority of the game. The teams will pack seven or eight players behind the ball at all times and just hope for a lucky counter attack. Which unfortunately for Rush, is a strategy that has been working.
In the previous draw against FC United, Rush moved some pieces around to sure up the back line and without their skipper Nic Hartman, Jimmy Fitzpatrick and Colin Clark were called upon to control the defense and they managed a very solid performance.
On paper this looks to be a very high pace, possession-based game where both teams know they have the ability to keep the ball and run at each other to create chances. We will see how Springs FC comes out but I have a hard time believing that they will employ the counter attack strategy and will most likely meet Rush head on and make it an exciting battle.
Rush has their backs against the wall and are in desperate need of all the points they can get their hands on in this match.
Kickoff is at 2pm June 4th at The Grace Center Stadium at St. Mary’s High School.