The Colorado Rapids defeated defending Concacaf Champions League victors Seattle Sounders FC 1-0 on Sunday night at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. Striker Jonathan Lewis scored the only goal of the night in the 50th minute in front of a home crowd.
“They're such a good and talented team, we knew it would be difficult,” said Rapids head coach Robin Fraser postgame. “I didn't think we were perfect by any stretch, but I thought you can see on the players' faces throughout the game they were firmly invested in this and when we play with that level of engagement, we give ourselves a good chance to win and fortunately on the day we beat a very, very good team.”
The win moves the Rapids to 23-straight unbeaten games at home in the regular season. Colorado is now tied with LA Galaxy for the fourth-longest unbeaten run in MLS.
Defender and 2022 MLS SuperDraft pick Anthony Markanich recorded his MLS debut and first league start in burgundy on Sunday. The 22-year-old put up two shots in his first appearance.
“I thought I had a pretty good performance,” he said postgame. “My team helped me through the whole game. They were with me every step of the way, encouraged me, and talked to me the whole time.”
The Rapids opened and closed the scoring in the 50th minute when Colorado built possession out of the box as striker Michael Barrios took the ball on his own into the box and laid it off to Diego Rubio. Rubio then sent a pass that was touched away by Stefan Frei but took a deflection off the Sounders’ Yeimar that trickled past the Sounder's keeper. Lewis was in perfect position, getting a foot on it to drive it all the way home.
Lewis stepped on for midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye after the latter took an elbow to the eye before the end of the first half and left the pitch.
“It's funny, when he got injured I was like, ‘Today's gonna be the day I score. I don't know how it's gonna happen, but I'm gonna score',” Lewis said after the match. “I think in the last few games, especially since the Portland game, I've really started to find my footing. So I'm hoping this goal now is gonna start turning into a bunch and I hope I go on a scoring tear now.”
Goalkeeper William Yarbrough recorded his sixth shutout of the season against Seattle. The Mexican native is now tied with Rapids legend Tim Howard for fourth-most clean sheets in club history with 23 total.
Yarbrough wasn’t forced to make a single save in the first half as Seattle couldn’t get anything on frame, but came up big between the posts in the final minutes of the game to keep the CCL champions scoreless at altitude. He recorded two saves over the 90 minutes, including a 54th-minute long chance by Raul Ruidíaz.
Fraser has now reached 50 wins in MLS as a head coach in the regular season. From starting at Chivas USA to guiding the Rapids to back-to-back postseason runs, the Rapids leader continues to build his legacy from the bench.
“The biggest thing that this means to me, honestly, is I look back at the time that I've spent here and how much I've enjoyed it,” Fraser said. “I enjoy it because of the players, the coaches that I work with, the staff here. The 50 wins is more a byproduct of being in this incredible environment and hopefully, it's just a prelude to a lot more to come. ”
The Rapids will continue their homestand next Saturday when they take on Nashville SC. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at altitude.