COMMERCE CITY, Colo. ― The Colorado Rapids (13-5-9, 48 points) will look to complete a season sweep of Minnesota United FC (10-9-8, 38 points) when they visit Allianz Field on Sunday, Oct. 10. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. MT, with pregame coverage beginning on Altitude Sports at 1:30 p.m. and on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM at 1:45 p.m.
Colorado enters the match in third place in the Western Conference, four points behind second-place Sporting KC. Minnesota, meanwhile, is in seventh in the West, one point ahead of eighth-place Vancouver for the final playoff spot.
This is the third meeting of the season between these teams. On May 8, the Rapids erased a two-goal, second-half deficit to earn a thrilling 3-2 win. Kellyn Acosta started the comeback with a sweet volley from distance following a Rapids corner. Cole Bassett equalized in the 71st minute before Danny Wilson scored the game-winner off a Jack Price free kick delivery. The comeback tied the club record for largest deficit overcome in a win. Then on July 7, Braian Galván opened the scoring with a sweet curler off the far post and in before Andre Shinyashiki lifted the Rapids to a 2-0 win with his chip shot in the 81st minute.
“It will always be more difficult to go to Minnesota as opposed to playing them here,” defender Keegan Rosenberry said. “They’re a good team. Every team in this league demands respect and we have to give that to them. But this entire year we’ve talked about what we need to do and focus on our job at hand. If we’re good at what we do on the day, the opponent isn’t going to matter. We’ve believed that all year. It wasn’t good enough on Sunday [in Seattle] so hopefully this Sunday it will be.”
Price is up to 11 assists on the season, tied for third in MLS and equaling a Rapids career high. He has assisted on three of Colorado’s last five goals, two of which were off corner kicks. Colorado has nine goals off corners this season and its 11 set piece goals are tied for the league lead.
The Rapids had their 12-game unbeaten run ended on Sunday in Seattle. It was Colorado’s first loss since July 24. The Rapids were reduced to 10 men when Lucas Esteves was shown a straight red card in the 61st minute; Colorado successfully appealed the one-game suspension and Esteves will be available for selection against Minnesota.
Minnesota is coming off a scoreless draw in Dallas on Saturday. Argentine midfielder Emmanuel Reynoso was shown a straight red card in the 89th minute. The Loons also won their appeal of Reynoso’s suspension and the former Boca Juniors player will be available for selection on Sunday.
Sunday’s match is the second of a three-game road trip for Colorado. The Rapids visit Real Salt Lake on Oct. 16 in a battle for the Rocky Mountain Cup. Five of the Rapids’ seven remaining games are against teams currently in a playoff spot, which is tied for the most in MLS (Vancouver).
The Rapids will be without midfielders Kellyn Acosta (United States) and Mark-Anthony Kaye (Canada), who were called up to their respective national teams for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Acosta extended his streak to 18 consecutive USMNT appearances as the U.S. defeated Jamaica, 2-0, on Thursday, while Kaye played 77 minutes in Canada’s 1-1 draw in Mexico. The U.S. visits Panama on Sunday and before hosting Costa Rica on Oct. 13. Canada, meanwhile, hosts Jamaica and visits Panama in the October window.
“We’ve actually missed those guys quite a few times this year,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said of Acosta and Kaye. “We really feel like for us it’s business as usual. We have a lot of guys who are training hard and ready to go. It’ just a matter of who actually we select.”
Minnesota will be missing five regulars to international duty. Michael Boxall (New Zealand), Robin Lod (Finland), Jukka Raitala (Finland), Romain Métanire (Madagascar) and Dayne St. Clair (Canada) will all miss Sunday’s match.
“They’ve had a number of different players come in and go out,” Fraser continued. “But the basis of the team is the same. They’ve obviously missing a few guys for international duty. But as long as they have [Emmanuel] Reynoso, they’re a very dangerous team.”
News & Notes
- A Rapids win on Sunday would complete a three-game season sweep of Minnesota. It would be the Rapids’ second season sweep over the Loons all-time, after they took both meetings in 2018. It would be the fourth, three-plus-game season sweep in club history (Colorado went 3-0-0 against Columbus in 1996 and Sporting KC in 2016; the Rapids went 4-0-0 against KC in 1999, though three wins were in shootouts).
- Colorado’s six road wins in 2021 are tied for the most in club history in the post-shootout era (the Rapids won six road matches in 2011). The club record is nine road wins from 1999, though two of those wins were in shootouts.
- D Drew Moor’s next appearance will be his 400th. Moor will become the third active player to reach the milestone and the eighth in MLS history, including goalkeepers. Moor is two appearances away from 200 with Colorado.
- F Michael Barrios’ next start will be the 180th of his MLS career.
- M Cole Bassett’s next start will be the 50th of his MLS career. Bassett will be the second Rapids Academy product to reach the milestone with Colorado (D Shane O’Neill).
- F Jonathan Lewis’ next assist will be the 10th of his MLS career. His next goal will be his sixth of 2021, setting a new career high. He has scored five goals in each of his three seasons with Colorado.