Zardes Earns MLS Player of the Week Honors

Gyasi Zardes was named the MLS Player of the Week following his hat trick in the Rapids’ 4-3 win over Minnesota United FC on Saturday. Zardes’ hat trick was the first by a Rapids player since Kei Kamara scored three goals against CF Montréal on August 3, 2019. With his performance, Zardes became the fifth player in MLS history to record multiple hat tricks against the same team after he previously produced the only other hat trick in his career against Minnesota on October 28, 2018, while with the Columbus Crew.

In his last six games for Colorado, Zardes has scored five goals and produced one assist, leading the team to a 3-1-2 record. The U.S. Men’s National Team forward now has 94 career MLS goals, tying him with Atlanta United FC’s Josef Martínez for the 12th-most in MLS history and the second-most among active players, trailing only Kei Kamara (134). Zardes has now scored at least six goals in eight of his 10 MLS seasons, doing so with three different teams (LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew and Colorado).

Zardes is the first Rapids player to win MLS Player of the Week since Andre Shinyashiki in Week 27 of 2019. Zardes and Shinyashiki are the only Rapids players to earn the award since the start of 2015. Among active players, Zardes’ six MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire honors are the third-most behind LAFC’s Vela (eight) and Atlanta’s Martínez (seven). Since the start of 2021, he is tied with Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (LA Galaxy), Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC), and Raúl Ruidíaz (Seattle Sounders FC) for the most Player of the Week awards in MLS with three.

Record-Matching Rubio

Diego Rubio scored his 11th goal of the season in the Rapids’ 4-3 win over Minnesota on Saturday, matching his single-season career high for goals scored in MLS and marking the seventh consecutive match the Chilean has recorded a goal or an assist. Rubio’s team-leading 11 goals and six assists so far in 2022 mark a new, single-season high in his MLS career, surpassing his 11 goals and five assists in 2019.

Rubio is also one goal away from tying Chris Henderson for the fifth-most goals scored all-time in Rapids history (31) and one game-winning goal away from tying former Rapids midfielder Paul Bravo for most in club history (12).

"Diego's gone from playing as a center forward to playing underneath the forward, and it's a little bit more of an orchestrator role than it is as a nine when you're actually trying to finish chances," said head coach Robin Fraser ahead of the matchup with the Crew.

And physically, it's a different type of running. It's a different type of fitness and he's had to really mold himself into something that maybe isn't completely natural for him. But it's also given him the freedom to do more than just score goals. He's creating things, he's really orchestrating a lot of our attacks. But if you can do all that and be goal threatening as well then he's having a very good season."

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

Burgundy Debut

Rapids midfielder Felipe Gutiérrez made his Rapids debut in their 4-3 win over Minnesota United at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park when he substituted into the match for Jack Price at half time. The Rapids recently acquired Gutiérrez from Universidad Católica on loan for the remainder of the 2022 MLS season.

Rapids Hosting Military Appreciation Night on Saturday

The Rapids will be hosting their annual Military Appreciation Night presented by Coca-Cola during their match against the Columbus Crew this Saturday, Aug. 13. The club, along with Coca-Cola, will be presenting a $10,000 donation to United Service Organizations at halftime, which will also feature a swear-in ceremony for 75 incoming members from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Previewing #COLvsCLB: William Yarbrough - August 11

Familiar Faces

A week after scoring his game-winning hat trick, Zardes will be facing off against his former club. The 30-year-old forward spent over four seasons with the Columbus Crew, winning the 2020 MLS Cup with the side before being traded to the Rapids in February. Curiously enough, the Crew’s most recent goal against Colorado was scored by none other than Zardes in a 3-2 Rapids win on May 25, 2019.

Despite taking on his former team, Saturday’s matchup will be business as usual for Zardes. 

“He's going to make the same runs, he's going to work just as hard defensively, he's going to look for his shots. I don't think anything changes with him. He is that solid of a character,” said Fraser. 

Other club connections include Rapids defender Lalas Abubakar, who spent three seasons with Columbus after being drafted by the club in 2017; Rapids head coach Robin Fraser, who spent two years with the Crew while captaining them to the 2004 Supporters’ Shield; Rapids defender Aboubacar Keita, a Columbus homegrown who won the 2020 MLS Cup and 2021 Campeones Cup with the side; and Crew midfielder Marlon Hairston, who was drafted by the Rapids in 2014 and spent five seasons in Colorado.