COMMERCE CITY, Col. – The Colorado Rapids kick off the 2021 MLS regular season on Saturday, April 17, when they visit FC Dallas. Kickoff is set for 6:00 PM at Toyota Stadium. Fans can tune in to Altitude Sports at 5:30 PM and Altitude Sports Radio beginning at 5:45 PM for pregame coverage.
“We’re obviously excited to get going again,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said. “It’s been a long break, a longer than usual break, and certainly we feel like coming off what was a decent year for us, somewhat disappointing finish, you have several months to think about getting ready and getting going again. It’s great. We had a really good preseason down in Tucson, felt like the team really took some strides forward and really looking forward to getting the season started.”
Colorado returns the vast majority of the squad that reached the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2020. The Rapids signed several players to new contracts, including goalkeeper Clint Irwin; defenders Lalas Abubakar, Steven Beitashour, Drew Moor, Auston Trusty, Sam Vines and Danny Wilson; midfielder Collen Warner; and forwards Jonathan Lewis and Diego Rubio.
The Rapids also made key additions in the offseason, acquiring dynamic Colombian winger Michael Barrios from Dallas and signing several Homegrown Players, including 16-year-old Darren Yapi and 19-year-old Oliver Larraz, both Denver natives from the Rapids Academy. The club also completed the permanent transfer of goalkeeper William Yarbrough, who posted 4 clean sheets in 14 league appearances in 2020 while on loan from Liga MX side Club León.
Several Rapids players enjoyed a successful offseason on the international stage. Midfielder Kellyn Acosta made his much-awaited return to the U.S. Men’s National Team, making three starts among four appearances since December. Defender Sam Vines continued his rise through the national team pool, picking up an assist and helping the USMNT post two clean sheets in friendly wins over El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago. Lewis scored his first two career USMNT goals in a 90-minute performance against Trinidad on Jan. 31. Vines, Lewis, Trusty and midfielder Cole Bassett also spent part of preseason with the U.S. U-23 MNT during Concacaf Olympic Qualifying.
In accordance with MLS capacity guidelines and with approval from the Tri-County Health Department, the Colorado Rapids announced on Tuesday that 7,897 fans, or approximately 44 percent of capacity, will be permitted to attend the Rapids 2021 Home Opener at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park against expansion side Austin FC on Saturday, April 24. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM. Fans can sign up for the single-game ticket priority list at the link here.
News & Notes
- Colorado is 7-4-3 on Opening Day since 2007.
- The Rapids return 96 percent of their minutes played from 2020, the most in MLS.
- Colorado won five games on the road in 2020, tied for the most in MLS.
- F Michael Barrios is available for selection to make his Rapids debut in his return to Dallas. The Colombian winger spent six seasons with FC Dallas and is the club’s second all-time leader in combined goals and assists.
- M Kellyn Acosta returns to Dallas, where he started his career on a Homegrown contract. He scored 9 goals and added 12 assists in 117 games across parts of six seasons before being traded to Colorado in 2018.