The Big Picture

Dominique Badji scored his third goal in his last four games to lead the Colorado Rapids (16-7-10, 58 points) to a 1-0 win over Houston Dynamo FC (6-15-12, 30 points) on Sunday at PNC Stadium. With the result, the Rapids earned their 58th point of 2021, tying their best single-season record ever (2016), and reached 16 wins in 2021, the most in club history in the post-shootout era. William Yarbrough made six saves to earn his 13th clean sheet of the season, tying the league lead and extending his own individual club record. Colorado is now tied with Sporting KC and Seattle for first place in the Western Conference with one game remaining.

Notable:

  • The win completes a three-game season sweep of Houston. Dynamo FC is the second team to lose all three matches to Colorado this season, along with Minnesota. It also marks the first time the Rapids have won two regular season matches as the visitor in the same stadium in one year since 2013, when they defeated Chivas USA and LA Galaxy in Carson, Calif. 
  • Dominique Badji scored his fourth goal of the season and his third in four games in the 58th minute. Badji now has five goals and five assists in 11 career matches against Houston, his highest combined total against any MLS opponent. 
  • William Yarbrough made six saves to post his 13th clean sheet of the season, tying the club’s single-season record set in 2016 and extending his own individual single-season club record.
  • Younes Namli earned his first assist of the year on Dominique Badji’s goal. 
  • Danny Wilson made his 80th MLS appearance with the club. 
  • Auston Trusty made his 40th MLS appearance with Colorado.
  • The Rapids reached 58 points on the season, equaling a club record set in 2016.
  • The Rapids reached 16 wins on the season, surpassing their previous single-season high of 15 wins in the post-shootout era.

COLORADO RAPIDS HEAD COACH ROBIN FRASER

On the team’s performance:

“I didn’t think we were very good at all, and to be honest, I definitely have to take some of the blame for that because I attempted to do a few different things today and tried to put us in a different shape. It was never cohesive enough so I certainly have some responsibility in that, but I just thought that as a whole we did not play particularly well. We never really got into a rhythm and we live and learn. At the end of the day, I’m really proud of them for finding ways to get a win and the three points is obviously huge, but certainly not our best performance.”
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On being tied with SKC and Seattle at the top of the West on points: _

“My reaction would have been that we obviously did a number of things right along the way. When we lost in Minnesota [in the first round of playoffs] last year, we talked about the fact that the team wasn’t ready, it was their first time in that environment, and that we’ll be better coming back this year and we certainly have been. All of the players are better than they were last year and we obviously added players who’ve helped us, so I think my feeling would be that would be deserved if we were in this position at the end of the year and I truly believe it is deserved. They have worked extremely hard and had very, very good performances, and gutted out some performances. But the character of the team is fantastic, even on a day like this where they don’t play particularly well, they find ways to win and they fight, and again that speaks volumes about their character.”
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On Dominique Badji’s performance:_

“What he’s done over the last couple weeks has been really special. To get his opportunity and take his opportunity the way he did initially, I thought was fantastic. Again, you talk about character and the type of person that he is and he took the challenge and ran with it and the goals that he’s given us, the play that he’s given us. Even today wasn’t his best day, but he finds a way to get a goal and we had a moment of brilliance in the midfield and get Dom the ball in a pretty good spot. It was such a forward’s goal, just knowing where the goal is to touch and turn that way. His progression has been extremely rapid over the last couple of weeks. It’s taken him a while. When he came in, he needed a little while to get healthy and to get fit, to get strong, and he was getting over an injury, and he’s fought extremely hard to get an opportunity and he’s done really, really well with his opportunities.”

COLORADO RAPIDS DEFENDER AUSTON TRUSTY

On the match:

“Wasn’t the prettiest match from us at all, but you know, sometimes football is like that and it’s kind of the ones who, when they’re not playing the best, they can grind a game and get three points and so pretty much that’s the only thing that matters. Obviously, we’re all kind of disappointed in how we played and we came out the first half, but we kind of cleaned it up in the second half, but at the end of the day that’s all that matters is that we got three points.”

On his role in the backline:

“I think every player brings different parts of the game, brings different attributes. I think a lot of us in the back, we all are confident, and me stepping into place, me stepping into the backline, and having the role I have in the team, I think is beneficial for the team. I think I can bring a lot to the table on the field and off the field and just the mindset I bring to the team. But I think all of us, we all have our different attributes and different parts of our game that we can bring to the table, and that’s good. With this team, I am able to be me and be free and do myself and that’s allowed me to achieve a lot of things this year.”

On executing the game plan:

“I mean, I don’t think it was anything about the game plan or anything like that. It’s kind of just execution. Like I said, the team—the only people that can beat us is ourselves. If we come out, win the game, we are a confident team, we can do our thing, I feel like no one can stop us. But if we come out and we’re not playing our best and doing our thing, we are the only thing that can stop us. So I mean, it’s kind of just execution. If we go out in the game with the same mindset that we’re going to win every single game and be clean, every second ball we win, and every pass is clean, and every shot, everything, every block, we can achieve a lot and we can do our thing and play our game and achieve our success. But if we come out and we don’t really do our job, that’s when you start seeing problems, so over the course of the year and towards postseason that’s going to be a crucial part of the team’s success in general, and pretty much every team in MLS.”