While Nashville SC has only taken on a select few MLS sides in friendlies – Atlanta United, Chicago Fire, and Orlando City – there’s plenty of familiarity with the first they’ll play competitively.
The Boys in Gold will host the Colorado Rapids June 6. They won’t head to Denver and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, which was home to the 2010 Rapids side that won an MLS Cup championship – with Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith then leading the way in Denver. Starting goalkeeper Matt Pickens and defender Kosuke Kimura suited up for that Rapids side en route to the title, as well.
The Rapids have struggled in recent years, failing to advance past the fifth round of the US Open Cup (but doing just that four years running, so if Nashville is to win, they’ll break a streak), and only making the MLS Cup playoffs once in that stretch. Their trip to the MLS Cup semifinals in 2016 did earn them Concacaf Champions League status for this Spring, but they were knocked out in the group stage.
This year’s Rapids team is dead last in the Western Conference, with a 2-6-2 record. They are a much more formidable 2-2-1 at home – where opponents have to adjust to playing at altitude, among other challenges. That means they’ll bring their 0-4-1 away mark to Music City.
Former US Internationals Tim Howard and Edgar Castillo are among the notable names for the Rapids, but clearly this is a team that has struggled thus far in 2018. With the other options including reigning Open Cup champions (and current West leaders) Sporting Kansas City, and a Real Salt Lake team that’s certainly better than Colorado (though not spectacular by any stretch), this is the best possible draw from NSC’s pot.