COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids (8-11-8, 32 pts) will head to GEODIS Park for the first time in club history to take on Nashville SC (10-9-9, 39 pts) on Wednesday, August 31 (6:30 p.m. MT; Altitude Sports, Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM).
Wednesday’s match will be second match in a three-game road stand for the Rapids and will be just the second-ever encounter between Colorado and Nashville in MLS. The Rapids have recently enjoyed success on their visits to new stadiums, following wins at TQL Stadium against FC Cincinnati and at Q2 Stadium against Austin FC last year.
Colorado will be looking to bounce back following a 6-0 loss to Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union on Saturday in a match that saw a rotated Rapids side go down to ten men in the 35th minute and have two penalty kicks called against them. Diego Rubio, who didn’t feature in the loss against the Union, leads the Rapids with 12 goals and six assists this season, a new single-season career high in MLS that’s surpassed his previous high of 11 goals and five assists that he set in 2019. The Chilean is now one goal away from passing Chris Henderson for the fifth-most goals scored all-time in Rapids history (31) and one game-winning goal away from tying former Rapids midfielder Paul Bravo for most in club history (12).
The midweek meeting will also feature two of the top goalkeepers from last season facing off against each other. Both William Yarbrough and Nashville’s Joe Willis finished atop the league tied for most clean sheets recorded in 2021 (13), along with New York Red Bulls’ Carlos Coronel. A former Denver University Pioneer, Willis has recorded seven clean sheets this season, mirroring Yarbrough’s count. Yarbrough is on the hunt for his 25th regular-season clean sheet, which would tie him with Joe Cannon for third-most in Rapids history.
Nashville SC will host the Rapids after recording a 3-0 win on the road against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday. The Southern side picked up its first set of consecutive wins since April with a 4-0 win over Dallas last week preceding their win in Canada over the weekend. German midfielder Hany Mukhtar, who recorded two assists on Saturday, leads MLS with 27 goal contributions this season (16 goals, 11 assists) and has contributed to at least one goal in 13 of his last 16 MLS appearances (14 goals, 7 assists), including each of his last seven at home.
Nashville’s roster and technical staff will feature several familiar faces to long-time Rapids fans, including Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith, assistant coach Steve Guppy, assistant coach Kosuke Kimura, goalkeeper coach Matt Pickens and defender Eric Miller. Smith, Guppy, Kimura and Pickens were all members of the Rapids side that won the 2010 MLS Cup. Pickens currently holds the all-time records for most appearances made by a Rapids goalkeeper (116), most wins by a Rapids goalkeeper (41) and the most clean sheets by a Rapids goalkeeper (29). Miller spent three seasons with the Rapids between 2016-18, making 56 appearances (53 starts) and recording an assist during his time in Colorado.