Tim Howard to join short-handed Colorado Rapids

The biggest news breaking Sunday morning was the long-rumored (and pretty much a foregone conclusion) official statement that famed U.S. National Team goalie Tim Howard would be joining the Rapids from English Premier League team Everton.

The rumors of Howard coming to Colorado first leaked more than a month ago. On Sunday, it was declared official that Howard would be shipping in when the MLS transfer window opens in July.

More immediately, however, the Colorado Rapids will be without a number of players for Sunday’s nationally televised game with D.C. United.

Not a great way to showcase their team, especially when a three of those sidelined are new additions.

U.S. Men’s National Team player Jermaine Jones — the Rapids biggest offseason addition — continues to serve his six-match suspension for conduct toward an official from last season when he was with the New England Revolution. (It will be his third game.)

Shkelzen Gashi also will sit for a one match suspension for “violating MLS policy when entering the field of play” in last week’s win over the LA Galaxy, according to a news release on the Rapids’ website. A separate story on the site claimed the suspension is for Gashi, who had already been substituted off, running onto the pitch to help teammates celebrate the 90th-minute goal in the Rapids’ win over the Galaxy.

On a much more positive reason for missing games, midfielder Dillon Serna and defender Eric Miller were called up Saturday to the Under-23 National Team to help the squad try and qualify for the Rio Olympics.

Miller started in the Rapids’ opener, a 1-0 loss at San Jose. Serna came on as a substitute in the 83rd minute of the Rapids’ 1-0 win over the Galaxy.

Gashi started both games for the Rapids.

Colorado is hoping to grab three points and its first road victory of the season.

Maybe the absences will open the door for last week’s hero Marco Pappa to start the game. In the first two games, Pappa has come off the bench, last week doing so to tally in the 95th minute.

The Rapids have looked a threat in both games this season. They deserved a victory at San Jose in the season opener, narrowly missing several chances. And the Rapids carried play against the Galaxy, finally rewarded on Pappa’s goal.

D.C. United is still looking for its first victory of the season. United have only one point through their first two games, a scoreless draw last week at New England.

United will get a boost playing in front of their home crowd for the first time this season. Lamar Neagle has United’s only goal of the season.

The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. Mountain time.

Join @scottkaniewski5 to chat on Twitter throughout Sunday’s United v. Rapids match.