COMMERCE CITY, Colo. ― The Colorado Rapids (8-4-4, 28 points) will begin a two-game road trip when they visit Houston Dynamo FC (3-6-9, 18 points) on Saturday, Aug. 14. Kickoff is set for 6:30 PM at BBVA Stadium, with pregame coverage beginning on Altitude Sports at 6 PM and on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM at 6:15 PM.
“Just another really challenging start of a challenging week for us with Houston in Houston, LA [Galaxy] in LA [on Tuesday] and finishing with Real Salt Lake at home [on Saturday],” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said. “It’s certainly a challenging week for us, as I said. In spite of Houston’s record, they certainly have a number of talented players and they’re a good team. They haven’t gotten the results to go their way over the last several weeks but doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re a really good team with talent in a number of spots. For us, we obviously need to deal with them, deal with the conditions and be as sharp as we can and be as ready as we can.”
The Rapids will look for a second consecutive win in the state of Texas on Saturday. Colorado earned a 1-0 win in Austin on July 31, with Andre Shinyashiki scoring his third goal of the season. The Rapids won the previous two meetings against Houston—3-1 in Colorado on May 15 and 2-1 in Houston on Nov. 8, 2020—with Diego Rubio scoring the winning goal in both matches. The Burgundy Boys are unbeaten in their last four against Houston and are 5-2-4 (W-L-D) against Dynamo FC since 2016.
Colorado earned its eighth clean sheet of the season—tied with Nashville SC for the league lead—in Saturday’s scoreless draw with first-place Sporting KC at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. The match saw recently acquired midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye make his Rapids debut, earning a spot on the MLS Team of the Week bench for his 90-minute performance. It was also the first time all season SKC were held without a shot on target.
Michael Barrios leads the Rapids with four goals to go with four assists, while captain Jack Price has a team-leading five assists this season. Barrios is two helpers away from 50 in his MLS career, while Price is one away from tying Dillon Powers for fifth in club history. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough’s eight sheets tie the league lead.
After Saturday’s match, the Rapids will fly directly to Los Angeles ahead of Tuesday’s clash against LA Galaxy at 8:30 p.m. MT. The Rapids return to Colorado to host Rocky Mountain Cup rival Real Salt Lake on Saturday, Aug. 21.
Houston lost its last two matches—2-0 at Minnesota on Saturday and 3-2 at Austin FC on Aug. 4—and is winless in its last 11 dating to May. Dynamo FC, however, earned a point in seven of those matches and is undefeated at BBVA Stadium this season (3-0-4).
Maxi Urruti leads Houston with six goals, while Tyler Pasher and Fafa Picault pace Dynamo FC with three assists. Christian Ramirez, who scored in the May 15 match in Colorado, has since joined Scottish side Aberdeen.
“They’re a tough team, for sure. We know they haven’t won in [11 games] but I definitely don’t think that takes away from how good of a team they are,” Bassett said after training on Thursday. “They’ve been drawing a lot of games and sometimes those games can be very close and maybe they’re just missing a couple chances. It’s definitely tough to go down to Houston. The weather, the climate is tough. They’re a different team at home than they are away from home. That provides a big challenge for us and we know that we’re going to have to keep the ball pretty well down there.”
News & Notes
- Keegan Rosenberry is tied for sixth in MLS with 34 interceptions.
- Lalas Abubakar’s next appearance will be the 80th of his career. The 26-year-old Ghanaian has four career goals, including two with Colorado. Abubakar’s 96th-minute equalizer against Houston on Sept. 9, 2020, is Colorado’s latest goal since D Niki Jackson scored in the 97th minute of a 2-0 win at Minnesota United on Oct. 13, 2018.
- Dominique Badji’s next goal will be his 25th with Colorado, which would pass D Marcelo Balboa for sole possession of eighth on the club’s all-time scoring list.
- Michael Barrios is two assists away from 50 in his MLS career. The Colombian would be the 29th player to reach 35 goals and 50 assists in league history. He has four goals and four assists in 16 games with the Rapids this season.
- Barrios has 22 successful dribbles into the box this season, which is twice as many as anyone else in the league.
- Jack Price’s next assist will be his 26th with Colorado, tying M Dillon Powers for fifth-most in club history.