Firing On All Cylinders

With their 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew on Saturday, the Rapids have scored in each of their last eight games in MLS. Colorado has scored 18 goals in that span, which marks their longest run of consecutive games with a goal scored since a similar streak of eight games from August 15, 2021, to September 20, 2021.

“The biggest thing is we just need to know that at the end of the day, whoever comes in front of us we have to win because if we can just get our results until the end of the year we're in the playoffs no matter what the position that we put ourselves in now,” said Jonathan Lewis. “It's on us for us it's just wins, draws getting really good results [and] we’re in the playoffs.”

The result on Saturday also means the Rapids have lost just once in their last seven matches (3-0-3) and enter their midweek encounter against Vancouver on a three-game undefeated run. 

Red-Hot Rubio

Diego Rubio scored his 12th goal of the season in the Rapids’ 1-1 draw against Columbus on Saturday, marking a new single-season career high for the Chilean and marking the eighth consecutive match he has recorded a goal or an assist this season (five goals, five assists). That streak is currently tied for the longest run of games with a goal-involvement in MLS and is also the longest such run in Rapids history. Rubio leads the team with 12 goals and six assists in 2022, surpassing his previous career high of 11 goals and five assists in 2019.

“I don't say much, but I'm always watching, and Diego is a guy I'm always constantly watching and his passion for the game,” said fellow striker Gyasi Zardes ahead of the matchup with Vancouver.

“Every time he steps on the field, how passionate he is, that fuels me…and I feel like actions speak louder than words. Our chemistry is constantly building and you know, I'm happy that he's reached his career high and as far as the season goes, I think more is to come. He's on fire right now and I hope it keeps going.”

With his most recent goal on Saturday, Rubio has now tied Chris Henderson for the fifth-most goals scored all-time in Rapids history (31) and is one game-winning goal away from tying former Rapids midfielder Paul Bravo for most in club history (12).

Conor Casey
Paul Bravo
Omar Cummings
John Spencer
Chris Henderson
Diego Rubio

Undefeated, No Cap

The Rapids enter Wednesday’s match on a three-game unbeaten run against the Whitecaps (1-0-2), which is the third time that Colorado has gone three consecutive matches without losing to Vancouver since the two sides first faced off in 2011 (2012-13; 2016).

“I think they're very similar to us, and that they're battling consistency issues as well,” noted head coach Robin Fraser. “And if you look at how tight the standings are, I'd say that's pretty much leaguewide with the exception of maybe two or three teams. For us with regard to them, it's just really concentrating on us trying to do the things that we do well, and again, we’re working toward consistency and [this is a] short turnaround, but we still have to do the things that we do that make us good.”

Diving Right In

Felipe Gutiérrez, the Rapids’ newest man in the midfield, logged 80 minutes in Colorado’s matchup with Columbus over the weekend. The Chilean boasted a passing accuracy rate of 81.4% and continuously guided the attack through deliveries to Michael Barrios, Rubio and Zardes.

“His vision is like no other. He sees players that are open and making runs. And you know me, I love that– my eyes light up because I want to make a run behind the backline. And he can spray the ball and find me. So I just have to make sure I keep connecting with him, keep talking with him. And he's a great addition to our team.”

In a midfield that has seen turnover this season due to player departures, arrivals and injuries, Gutiérrez’s ability to read the game is one that Fraser finds invaluable.

“He's very good. His understanding of spacing and his awareness of where players are around them, that's the precursor to what you see,” he said after Saturday’s game. "You see good passes, you see a good first touch, but it's because he knows where everything is at all times. He's a really good player. He's a very intelligent player.”

Club Connection

Rapids defender Steven Beitashour spent two seasons in Vancouver (2014, 2015), registering 58 appearances, 4,795 minutes and eight assists across all competitions, and helping the Whitecaps capture the Canadian Championship in 2015.