COMMERCE CITY, Colo. ― After clinching a berth in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs with a win on Saturday, the Colorado Rapids (15-6-10, 55 points) will look to secure home field advantage when they visit the Supporters’ Shield-winning New England Revolution (21-4-7, 70 points) on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. MT, with pregame coverage beginning on Altitude Sports at 4:30 p.m. and on Altitude Sports Radio AM 950 at 4:45 p.m.
“I thought Wednesday we were really sharp against Seattle and against Portland backed it up with a very good performance [on Saturday],” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said. “We can’t really go backwards from here now that we’ve started to ramp things up. The expectations are there, not only from others but of us, of ourselves. The expectations are there. We’ve started moving in the right direction again. From here, everything has to be looking to get better and better and better.”
The Rapids can secure home field advantage in the first round with a win or draw on Wednesday. Colorado can also secure home field regardless of Wednesday’s result if Portland loses or draws to San Jose or LA Galaxy lose or draw to Sporting KC. The Revolution enter the match winners of the 2021 Supporters’ Shield, awarded to the team with the most points in the regular season.
A Rapids win on Wednesday would earn their 58th point of the season, which would tie the club record set in 2016. It would also be their 16th victory of the season, the most since the club won 20 games in 1999.
“The fact that we’re still in touching distance of first and second place, it has to motivate us to go and put more points on the board between now and the end of the season, not take our foot off the gas and just keep going,” Danny Wilson said. “That’s been our mentality throughout. It’s served us well so far. We just need to keep pushing, see where we end up. If we can get a home playoff game here, get the fans behind us, anything can happen.”
Colorado clinched a second playoff berth in two seasons under Fraser with a 2-0 victory over fourth-place Portland Timbers on Saturday. Braian Galván assisted on goals by Dominique Badji and Diego Rubio, while William Yarbrough made four saves to post his 12th clean sheet of the season.
Badji’s goal was his third of the season and his second in as many games. Rubio picked up his fifth assist of the season on Badji’s goal. Galván was named to the Week 23 MLS Team of the Week, while Auston Trusty was named to the Team of the Week bench for his 90-minute performance.
Captain Jack Price is third in MLS with 12 assists this season, while Michael Barrios paces the club with eight goals. Yarbrough’s 12 shutouts are second-most in MLS
The Revolution can set the MLS single-season points record with a win in either of their final two matches. Los Angeles FC set the record with 72 points in 2019, with current Rapids midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye and defender Steven Beitashour starting 27 and 24 games, respectively, for LAFC. New England hosts Inter Miami CF on Decision Day.
New England is coming off an exciting 2-2 draw at Orlando City, a game they entered already having won the Shield. The Revs erased a two-goal, second-half deficit when Adam Buksa scored in the 81st minute and equalized in stoppage time. The draw extended their unbeaten streak to nine games.
Buksa leads the Revolution and is tied for second in MLS with 16 goals, while Carles Gil leads the league with 18 assists. New England’s 64 goals scored are the most in MLS.
“All of their [Designated Players], Tajon Buchanan, DeJuan Jones. They have a number of players that can hurt you,” Fraser continued. “Certainly, they’ve proven that all year, consistently. We have a number of things that we have to be concerned about, but we’d like to think that we have a few things that they’ll have to be concerned about as well.”
News & Notes
- Rapids win would earn their 58th point of the season, tying the club record set in 2016.
- Drew Moor’s next appearance will be his 200th with the club. He will become the second player to reach the milestone (Pablo Mastroeni, 225). His next start will be the 370th of his MLS career; he will be the sixth outfield player in league history to reach the milestone.
- Cole Bassett’s next appearance will be his 70th in MLS. His next goal will be his fifth of the year, tying a career high set in 2020.
- Mark-Anthony Kaye’s next appearance will be his 90th in MLS. Kaye and Revs Tajon Buchanan are teammates on the Canada national team.
- Jonathan Lewis’ next appearance will be his 90th in MLS. His next goal will be his sixth of 2021 and set a new career high.
- Lalas Abubakar’s next start will be his 60th with Colorado. Abubakar has one goal in two career matches against New England
- Andre Shinyashiki’s next start will be his 18th of the season and his next assist will be his third of the season, which would tie his single-season career highs.
- Diego Rubio has three goals in four career appearances against New England, his highest total against any Eastern Conference opponent. His next assist will be his sixth of the season, tying an MLS career high.
- Dominique Badji has a goal and an assist in six career meetings against New England.
- Michael Barrios has two goals in five career meetings against the Revs. He scored in his most recent match against New England on Opening Day 2019 while with FC Dallas.
- Jonathan Lewis has one goal in just 20 minutes across two career appearances against New England.
- Kellyn Acosta and Revs Matt Turner are teammates on the U.S. national team. They are two of four players with at least 10 USMNT starts in 2021 (Sebastian Lletget, Miles Robinson). Acosta leads all USMNT players with 18 appearances this year, the most by any player in one calendar year since Michael Bradley, DeAndre Yedlin and Gyasi Zardes earned 18+ caps in 2015.