The schedule is here! With so many returning players and the team’s sights set high, this year is highlighted by several home matchups against familiar foes, multiple lengthy homestands and, of course, a big matchup on the Fourth of July. Here are the four things you need to know about the Rapids’ 2021 home schedule.
Fireworks On and Off the Field vs Seattle Sounders FC – July 4
Remember the last time the Sounders came to DICK’S Sporting Goods Park? Does a 3-1 win that put the Rapids in the driver’s seat to earn a playoff spot and knock the Sounders out of contention for the Supporter’s Shield ring a bell? Well, get ready to see the rematch against the familiar Western Conference opponent on none other than the Fourth of July.
The Rave Green have visited Colorado for past Independence Day showdowns, in 2017 and 2018, both years leaving town victorious. The Rapids will hope to flip the script and throw a Red, White & Burgundy/Blue party in 2021.
The Rapids are known for their annual 4th Fest celebration, which the team hopes can return in 2021. The fireworks show is the biggest in Colorado and one of the best celebrations in town every year for the holiday. Here is the latest on the return of fans to DSGP and stay tuned to ColoradoRapids.com for more updates.
A Familiar Foe in Toronto FC - September 25
Head coach Robin Fraser will lead his team against his old club at the end of September when Toronto FC comes to town. This matchup has plenty to offer. First, it is one of the few matches that Colorado will play against an Eastern Conference side, due to a revised format as a result of COVID-19 precautions. Toronto FC is an exciting team in its own right as well, boasting former USMNT staples like Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley.
This isn’t just a rematch for Fraser, either. Drew Moor, Clint Irwin and Steven Beitashour won an MLS Cup with Toronto before returning to Colorado and Nicolas Benezet spent one season with the Canadian side. There will be plenty of familiarity on both sides when this team comes to town.
Lengthy Home Stands - July 4-21 & September 19-29
While the away schedule boasts one three-game road trip, the home schedule has two lengthy home stands, one of three games and one of four. The first one begins with the Seattle matchup on the Fourth of July and follows with games against Minnesota on July 7, San Jose on July 17 and Dallas on July 21. Considering three of those opponents made the playoffs last year, and the Earthquakes finished in good form at the end of the season, home field advantage will be a huge help in these big matchups.
The second homestand has even more on the line, given its placement in the schedule. On September 19, the Rapids will face Vancouver, followed by Toronto of the 25th and Austin on the 29th. By the end of the stand, the team will only have five weeks until Decision Day, so taking advantage of games on their home turf – and at elevation – will be huge. Which brings us to...
Decision Day vs LAFC - November 7
A home Decision Day on November 7 will be a nice change of pace, after traveling for the final match of the season the last two years. The Rapids will take on a stacked LAFC in what is sure to be a hotly contested Western Conference showdown ahead of the playoffs.
The last time LAFC visited the thin air, they were shut down in a 1-0 Rapids win. Sam Vines stole the show that evening after shutting down Carlos Vela and company.
After finishing the last two seasons in prime form, this will be a great opportunity for the Rapids to defend DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. Last year, Colorado finished the regular season on a three-game winning streak. The year before, they went 5-2-0 to close out the year, with one of those losses coming at the hand of this team from Los Angeles – but in LA.