Colorado Rapids

Preview | Rapids return to altitude to take on New England Revolution 


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids (3-13-10, 19 pts) host New England Revolution (13-5-9, 48 pts) at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park this Saturday, September 16, for Matchday 32 (7:30 p.m. MT; Apple TV – MLS Season Pass, Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM). 

The Rapids return home for the first time in league play since July 15, when they played out a scoreless draw against Houston Dynamo FC prior to the Leagues Cup. Following the new tournament, Colorado went winless in a three-game stretch on the road, losing 2-0 to Real Salt Lake on September 2 in their most recent match. Following that Rocky Mountain Cup loss, the Rapids parted ways with head coach Robin Fraser and named assistant coach Chris Little as interim head coach while the club appoints a permanent successor.

In addition to the coaching changes, more personnel changes occurred as the Rapids claimed Costa Rican international Luis Díaz off waivers on September 8. The 24-year-old winger scored six goals and 14 assists through 83 regular-season appearances during his five seasons with the Columbus Crew, adding additional speed to Colorado’s attack. Díaz is available for selection for Saturday’s game against New England, although Rapids defender Lalas Abubakar will be unavailable because of suspension due to yellow card accumulation.

The New England Revolution enter Saturday’s game on a three-game unbeaten streak (1-0-2) following two consecutive draws against Austin FC and Minnesota United FC. Against the Loons at Allianz Stadium last Saturday, the Revs struck first via their leading goal scorer, Carles Gil, in the first half. However, Minnesota’s Franco Fragapane equalized in stoppage time to prevent the Revs from winning their fourth road game of the season. The club has not won a road game since May 6 against Toronto FC. Despite that, New England sits second in the Eastern Conference with 48 points and the fifth-highest goals scored (46). Revs midfielder Gil tops the team with eight goals as well as leading the team with 12 assists, third-most in MLS. Forward Bobby Wood and Giacomo Vrioni also add seven and six goals, respectively.

“As I said before, our energy and focus right now is on us,” Rapids interim head coach Chris Little said ahead of the match. “We know New England are an experienced team. I thought they were very good in their last game away in Minnesota. They were well organized. They were really effective in transition. They’re a good team, so we expect a good test, but really our focus this week is to get back to us. What do we want to see? What’s the identity, the energy we want to bring? We know it’ll be a very difficult test with New England.”

Last Saturday night, former New England Revolution coach Bruce Arena resigned from his position amidst an ongoing investigation that the longtime MLS coach made inappropriate and insensitive remarks. Arena leaves the club as the winningest coach in MLS history, winning five MLS Cup titles and four Coach of the Year awards. In 2021, Arena led the Revs to an MLS-record 73-point regular season as the club won their first Supporters’ Shield. Clint Peay, head coach of Revolution II, was named interim head coach this week. 

The Rapids and the Revs are two of the 10 MLS charter clubs that kicked off in the 1996 inaugural season. The two clubs have faced each other 47 times in league play, with the Rapids having the edge on the series (20-18-9). At home, the Rapids have a 14-5-4 record against New England, outscoring the club 40-21 through all matchups in Colorado. However, two of New England’s five wins came within the last three matchups in Colorado. Before losing at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park in 2019 and 2015, the Rapids went 13 years without a loss at home to the Massachusetts side.

During Saturday night’s game against the New England Revolution, the Rapids will host ‘Kick Childhood Cancer’ night at DSGP as part of the league’s annual campaign to bring awareness to the medical crisis of childhood cancer. The team will wear themed warm up tops that will be auctioned on behalf of There With Care, a partnered organization dedicated to medical care for children. Colorado will also host a supply drive for families affected by childhood cancer.