The Rapids fought to a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas over the weekend and now look ahead to their final game of the season against Rocky Mountain rivals, Real Salt Lake. We spoke to midfielder Connor Ronan and defender Sebastian Anderson about their takeaways from Toyota Stadium, the mindset going into a derby game, and the influence young players had on the Rapids' squad this year.
On the attitude of the locker room heading into the final game of the season against rivals Real Salt Lake
Sebastian Anderson: It's a good mood, everyone wants to win. It's an important game for not only us, the team, but also the fans. We know how much it means to them. So the mood is good, and we're really looking to win this game.
Connor Ronan: Obviously it's a derby game so any derby games are must-win. I mean, this season has not been good enough, and we all know that. But I think we can give our fans the chance of something to celebrate and give us something to build on going into next season.
On personal takeaways from the recent result against FC Dallas and translating successes found to this weekend
SA: I feel like we did really well, just staying compact and moving as a unit and as a team. I felt like we were probably pretty solid defensively and that's what kind of pushed us over the edge to get the result and the structure that we had. The whole team defensively, we were a block, we moved together. And, obviously, minus the free kick, we did pretty well and limited their chances, which I think worked really well for us.
CR: I think firstly, just the attitude. I think everyone was clued in to what we wanted to do. We wasn't carrying any passengers, everyone was doing their jobs. And we just built off that, built off being solid and tried to counter attack, and I thought we were dangerous when we did.
On the recent upward trend of goals scored at home and the potential influence from a full stadium on Fan Appreciation Night this Saturday
SA: Our fans have stuck with us throughout the whole season, and we've been scoring goals at home as of late which is always nice. So hopefully we can put a few more in and come out with a win.
CR: I think we just have to give them something to get behind, give the fans something to get excited about when we get chances, for people to get shots off, get crosses off, and we need to do that and get the fans on their feet.
On the influence of young players adding depth to the Rapids' lineups this season
SA: The young players have been super important. You see guys like Cole, Moïse and Calvin, all these guys that are playing significant minutes and doing really well for the team. It just emphasizes the importance of it, and obviously it's great to have leaders in the group that kind of take us under their wing as well and push us in the right direction at all times. The young players have been doing great, and I'm just really happy for everyone.
CR: It's fairly obvious how well the young lads have done this year with Rapids 2, and if some of them are to get chances, then it'll be well deserved and I'm sure they'll take that opportunity.
On his takeaways from competing in MLS for a full season as a newcomer
CR: For me personally, I think it's been a season of adaptation, getting used to the league, getting used to the pace, a lot of transitions, a lot of counter attacks and quite different to what I've played in before. So I think it probably took me the first few months to kind of get used to it, and I feel like I've got comfortable with the pace of things now.