Match Day

Preview | Rapids return home to host visiting Houston Dynamo FC


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids (1-1-2, 5 pts) return home after a two-game road stint to host the 2023 U.S. Open Cup champions, Houston Dynamo FC (1-1-1, 4 pts), for their second home match of the season on Saturday, March 23, at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park (7:30 p.m. MT; Apple TV – MLS Season Pass, Altitude Sports Radio 950AM).

The Rapids enter the match on a three-game unbeaten run (1-0-2, W-L-D) despite playing three of the first four matches of the 2024 season on the road. The run began with a draw at home against Nashville SC on March 2, a come-from-behind victory over rival Real Salt Lake to take the lead in the 2024 edition of the Rocky Mountain Cup on March 9, and most recently, a 1-1 come-from-behind draw against Seattle Sounders FC on the road last Saturday, March 16. In their latest outing, club captain Keegan Rosenberry notched his 145th regular-season appearance, equaling the sixth-most in club history alongside Kyle Beckerman. Adding to the excitement, forward Kévin Cabral opened his 2024 account scoring an equalizer in the 88th minute, becoming the fourth player to find the net for the Rapids this season, joining Calvin Harris, Rafael Navarro, and Homegrown midfielder Cole Bassett. Bassett's stellar display two weeks ago in the Rocky Mountain Cup triumph not only secured him a place in the MLS Team of Matchday, but also highlighted his 100th regular-season appearance for the club. This notable achievement firmly places him as the second Homegrown player in club history to attain this milestone, following Dillon Serna (105).

Colorado will be without defender Moïse Bombito, as he has been called up to represent Canada at the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League Play-In. Canada will play Trinidad & Tobago at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas on March 23 at 2 p.m. MT for one of the final two Concacaf spots at the 2024 Copa América, jointly organized by CONMEBOL and Concacaf. The one-game playoff will serve as a qualifier for the 2024 Copa América this summer.

Houston Dynamo FC enter the match after earning their first victory of the season, a 1-0 win at home against the Portland Timbers, courtesy of Dynamo forward Aliyu Ibrahim's 43rd-minute goal, marking his second goal of the season. The Dynamo are 1-1-1 in league play, drawing 1-1 on the road against Sporting Kansas City on Feb. 24 and falling 2-1 at home to the New York Red Bulls on March 2. The Dynamo were eliminated from the Concacaf Champions Cup after playing to a 1-1 draw on the road against Columbus Crew SC in the second leg of the Round of 16 on March 12. 

Since the Dynamo joined the league in 2006, the clubs have met 39 times in the regular-season. Colorado has the edge in the overall regular season meetings, posting a record of 15-11-13. At home against the Dynamo, the Rapids are 9-4-7. In 2023, Houston had the edge in the series. The first match ended in a 0-0 stalemate draw at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, while in the second meeting, the Rapids fell 5-1 to Houston Dynamo FC at Shell Energy Stadium. In that match, Bassett scored the lone goal for his side, marking his single-season, career-high sixth goal of the year.

Panamanian International midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla leads Houston, joined by recent acquisitions midfielder Latif Blessing, defender Kieran Sargeant, and midfielders Ján Greguš, Ousmane Sylla, and Sebastian Rodriguez, along with forward Gabe Segal. They will be without forward Nelson Quiñónes, who suffered a knee injury last month and will miss the remainder of the 2024 season.

Saturday’s match features various connections between the two sides. Rapids forward Cabral and Dynamo defender Daniel Steres recorded 13 appearances alongside each other while at LA Galaxy in 2021. Rapids midfielder Jasper Löffelsend and Dynamo defender Tate Schmitt recorded 12 appearances alongside each other while at Real Salt Lake in 2022. Rapids head coach Chris Armas coached Dynamo defender Griffin Dorsey during a pair of matches while at Toronto FC in 2022. Dorsey, who was born in Evergreen, Colorado, has a history with the Rapids, having played for their U23 side from 2017-18.

At the helm of these sides are two coaches with a deep history. Rapids head coach Chris Armas and Dynamo head coach Ben Olsen have a long-standing connection, having recorded 17 appearances together while representing the U.S. Men’s National Team from 1999-2005. As coaches, they have faced each other six times, making Olsen the most frequently encountered opponent for Armas. Armas holds the advantage in the series, having lost just once, with a record of 3-1-2.

The match also carries with it a host of memories. It was on Sept. 9, 2020, that Homegrown defender Sam Vines delivered his first MLS assist, sending the ball to Rapids defender Lalas Abubakar, who scored his first goal as a member of the Rapids—an equalizer in the sixth minute of stoppage time in the second half—at home against the Houston Dynamo. Adding to the nostalgia, Rapids Homegrown midfielder Oliver Larraz marked his MLS debut on May 15, 2021, facing off against the Dynamo. Moreover, Rapids midfielder Löffelsend made his MLS debut on Feb 27, 2022, against Houston, while still part of Real Salt Lake.