The Colorado Rapids (5-7-4, 19 pts) will return home for the first time in over a month as they host Austin FC (9-4-4, 31 pts) at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park during the club’s annual 4thFest celebration on Monday, July 4 (7 p.m. MT; Altitude Sports, Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM).
Since their inaugural season in 1996, the Rapids have hosted a game on the Fourth of July every year except 2011 and 2020, posting a 13-6-5 record in that time. This year’s iteration will mark just the fourth-ever meeting between the Rapids and Austin FC (2-1-0) since the Texan side joined MLS in 2021. The Rapids have won their last two matches against Austin, recording two clean sheets and scoring four goals over both meetings.
Austin FC, currently second in the Western Conference, enters Monday’s match following a 1-0 road win midweek against Charlotte FC courtesy of a second-half goal from 2021 MLS SuperDraft pick Daniel Pereira. DP forward Sebastián Driussi leads the team with nine goals in 17 appearances in 2022, tying him for the second-most in MLS this season, while 12-year MLS veteran Diego Fagúndez leads the group with eight assists on the season.
Robin Fraser’s side return to DICK’S Sporting Goods Park for their first home match since May 28, 2022. The Burgundy Boys are coming off a loss on the road against the Portland Timbers, a match that saw goalkeeper William Yarbrough substituted off due to injury during first-half stoppage time after a collision with Timber’s midfielder Santiago Moreno. Yarbrough’s six shutouts this season are currently tied for third-most in MLS and his 23 career shutouts with the club are one away from surpassing Tim Howard for fourth-most in club history. Homegrown goalkeeper Abe Rodriguez, who entered the match for the injured Yarbrough, not only made his MLS debut in doing so, he also made Rapids history by becoming the youngest goalkeeper to make an MLS appearance for the club at 19 years, 341 days.
Colorado will welcome back defender Lalas Abubakar and midfielder Bryan Acosta as they return from serving suspensions due to yellow card accumulation. Abubakar has helped the Rapids post five shutouts this season, tying him with Auston Trusty for the second highest on the team in 2022. Acosta has completed 282 passes and has kept an 86% passing completion rate in 2022, the second highest on the team from a player with at least 10 appearances on the year. Up front, forward Diego Rubio leads the team with seven goals from 14 appearances in 2022, three behind the Golden Boot lead in MLS.