Tonight, the Rapids are set to battle Vancouver Whitecaps FC in a Western Conference showdown. Despite sharing a conference with one another, the two clubs did not meet last season, due to the unique format of the 2020 regular season. The last time these two clubs met was July 2019, resulting in a 2-2 draw. Since it has been so long since a head-to-head matchup for the teams, that means this is the first time head coach Robin Fraser will meet this Canadian side since taking his job with the Rapids in late 2019. Follow the Live Blog below all game long for live coverage all match long.
Sam Vines and Lalas Abubakar return to the game day roster, after missing the first two games due to injury. Kellyn Acosta also celebrates his 150th career start with tonight's appearance in the Starting XI.
Stating XI: William Yarbrough, Keegan Rosenberry, Danny Wilson, Auston Trusty, Sam Vines, Jack Price, Kellyn Acosta, Younes Namli, Michael Barrios, Diego Rubio, Andre Shinyashiki
Bench: Clint Irwin, Drew Moor, Lalas Abubakar, Jonathan Lewis, Nicolas Benezet, Nicolás Mezquida, Cole Bassett, Oliver Larraz, Collen Warner
1' - Aaaaaand they're off! Barrios is lined up on the left-hand side today, so we'll keep an eye on his combinations with Vines down the wing tonight.
4' - The biggest focus from head coach Robin Fraser going into this game was to improve possession in the midfield, and the Rapids appear to have much more control and intention in the middle of the field early on in the game. Rosenberry starts a full team transition, which, in the end, finds Shinyashiki, who strikes from nearly the six-yard box, but his shot is saved.
7' - The Rapids are speedy in transition so far, leaving Vancouver to play a bit of catch up as they have the man advantage on the attck. Smart, offensive-minded clearances from the defense are definitely playing a role in this proficient offensive transition.
10' - Whitecaps FC star forward Lucas Cavallini has a breakaway, but Wilson readily handles. This is the first time Colorado has faced the Canadian international Cavallini since he joined MLS last season.
11' - A tough stomp on Price's ankle by Vancouver causes a stoppage of play. Price returns, with what is sure to be a bruise.
15' - Shinyashiki once again with a shot on the door step that forces an impressive save by Vancouver's 'keeper Maxime Crepeau.
16' - Shinyashiki is knocking on the front door. This time, Barrios fires a cross in, and Shinyashiki's volley is met with another impressive save. Crepeau is working hard early on in the match.
17' - CARD - Namli recieves a yellow card.
21' - Shinyashiki getting tricky in the midfield now. Namli plays him a ball on the sideline that is a bit behind him, but he takes on three Vancouver players, nutmegs one, and continues the play on. It finishes off with a cross in from Rubio that Shinyashiki heads just wide to the left of the frame.
22' - Yarbrough comes out of the box, and Wilson drops back and stops a would-be Vancouver goal with an impressive goal line clearance.
26' - GOAL - Take a bow, Diego Rubio. A foul on Namli leads to a free kick, and Rubio fires in a shot from 20 yards out that leaves no doubt, a perfect upper 90 strike. This goal marks Rubio's 30th MLS goal. Rapids lead, 1-0.
28' - CARD - Without the ball, Cavallini fouls Shinyashiki and is shown a yellow card.
36' - CARD - Rosenberry is given a yellow card for a grabbing on his mark around midfield.
38' - Wilson is really having a solid game so far, playing with a lot of confidence and quality touches on the ball. He steals the ball just outside the box and wins a 2-on-1 thanks to some nice footwork.
41' - Vancouver takes a corner, and a header from Cristine Dajome is met with a solid save from Yarbrough. All of Vancouver's goals so far this season have been off of set pieces, so big stops like that off the restart are going to continue to be important.
45' + 4' - And the whistle blows to mark the end of the half.
45' - And we're back. No changes at the half.
50' - Barrios has yet to open his Rapids account, but, man, has he been close. He gets the ball and brings it in with pace to the top of the box and fires a short that goes just over the opposite corner of the goal.
55' - Things are getting a bit more heated down on the pitch between the two sides. The ref is letting them play through it, though.
56' - Another huge stop by Yarbrough. Vancouver fires in a header off a corner, and Yarbrough stops it point blank on the line, and Price, standing on the post, clears.
62' - Namli plays a great a long ball across the field and finds Barrios, who brings it in with a perfect first touch. He beats his man and carries it into the box and crosses it on the ground to Rubio, whose first-time strike is stopped by the Vancouver defense. Barrios' control with the ball at his feet has been impressive tonight.
63' - SUBSTITUTION - Cole Bassett comes on for Price. Before exiting the field, Price hands the captain armband off to Wilson, who has continued to show composure in the second half. Acosta should drop into more of a defensive central role with the change.
66' - SUBSTITUTION - Jonathan Lewis on for Shinyashiki. Vancouver has had more momentum in the second half than in the first, so hopefully these changes bring the spark back in favor of Colorado.
73' - Rubio carries the ball from just past midfield into the final third, drawing in the Vancouver defense and playing it off to Lewis just as they enter the box. Lewis goes one-on-one with the 'keeper and is stopped.
75' - Vines wins the ball and leads the charge in a speedy transition. He brings it all the way down the field and plays in Bassett, but his shot from just inside the 18 hits off Lewis and out of bounds. The Rapids have yet to score a goal in the run of play, with their two goals this season coming off restarts, but you have to think that they are finding their way with all of the chances they've generated this evening.
79' - Vancouver takes a cornr, and Yarbrough punches the inswinger up and out.
83' - SUBSTITUTION - The Rapids with a couple defensive-minded subs with three points in sight. Drew Moor replaces Namli, and Colleen Warner comes in for Barrios.
90' + 5' - And that's it from Rio Tinto Stadium!