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%

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