Strength at Altitude
The Rapids head into Saturday’s match on a five-game unbeaten run at home against Minnesota United FC. Colorado tied the first meeting 2-2 and won the following four encounters, outscoring the Loons nine to six in that span.
Even though the squad played just earlier this week, they’re eager to get back on the pitch in front of a home crowd.
“I would think that after the game and the way it went, that the players are excited to go out and play again,” said Fraser on Thursday. “It's definitely that way, when you have a good performance, a big win on the road, then everyone has a certain level of excitement that they can't wait to get back to it. And that was evident in training today.”
A New Face
Colorado added a new midfielder to its roster this week, seeing Chilean international Felipe Gutiérrez arrive to altitude on Wednesday.
Gutiérrez joins the Rapids from Chilean side C.D. Universidad Católica, a team he spent two stints with in the last 13 years, recording 27 goals and 26 assists from 134 appearances overall. He's also familiar with MLS play, as he rostered for Sporting Kansas City in 2018 and 2019, finishing as the club’s top scorer and team MVP during the 2019 season.
"Im very happy, thankful to Colorado for giving me this opportunity," he said on his first day of training with the Rapids. "The transition with the group has been very easy, they're very good guys."
Rapids forward Diego Rubio leads the team with 10 goals and six assists in his 2022 account. With his goal and two assists in the Rapids’ 5-4 comeback win against the Red Bulls on Tuesday, the Chilean has now recorded a goal or an assist in six consecutive matches. Rubio’s 29 career goals for the Rapids are tied with Dominique Badji for sixth-most in club history and he is also one game-winning goal away from trying Paul Bravo for the most in club history (12).
The striker recorded the Rapids’ lone goal against the Loons in their 3-1 loss in April.
William’s Winning Ways
The Rapids’ victory over the Red Bulls on Tuesday marked William Yarbrough’s 30th win in goal for Colorado, moving him to fourth on the Rapids’ all-time list for most wins recorded by a goalkeeper, surpassing Tim Howard and Joe Cannon. Yarbrough is five saves away from tying teammate Clint Irwin for third-most shutouts in Rapids history and is one shutout away from recording his 25th with the Rapids, which would tie him with Joe Cannon for third-most in club history.
Minnesota United drafted Rapids midfielder Collen Warner in the second round of the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft. Warner registered a goal and an assist over 42 appearances during his two seasons with the Loons. The defensive midfielder scored in the 77th minute of the match against the Red Bulls on Tuesday, marking his sixth MLS goal.
For Warner, taking on his old club is just another opportunity to bolster the Burgundy Boys’ spot in the standings.
“It's just another big match,” he said. “You know, as the season gets closer and closer to playoffs, the points are more crucial. This is just an opportunity to pick up three more points is really how we're looking at it.”
Rapids winger Sam Nicholson is also familiar with the Loons. The Scottish midfielder first entered the league via Minnesota in 2017, scoring two goals and delivering two assists over 20 appearances prior to being traded to Colorado in 2019 for his first stint in Burgundy.