Colorado Rapids

Preview: Rapids return to Red Bull Arena for the first time since 2019


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — For the first time in three years, the Colorado Rapids (6-9-6, 24 pts) travel east to face the New York Red Bulls (10-6-6, 36 pts) at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday, August 2 (5:30 p.m. MT; Altitude Sports, Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM).

Tuesday’s match will be the Rapids’ first encounter against the Red Bulls since August 31, 2019, a 2-0 win on the road courtesy of a Jonathan Lewis brace in what was Robin Fraser’s first match as Rapids head coach. That win kicked off a run that has seen the Rapids record the fifth-most points per game in the league (1.6) under the former MLS Defender of the Year since he took over the role. The match was also former Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard’s final game in his native New Jersey. 

This time around, Colorado will face a Red Bulls team coming off a midweek 5-1 loss to Orlando City SC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals followed by a 2-0 loss in a Saturday night friendly against La Liga’s FC Barcelona. The New Jersey-based club is 1-1-1 over their past three games in league play, most recently suffering a 1-0 defeat at home against cross-town rivals New York City FC. Scottish midfielder Lewis Morgan leads his side with nine goals, while homegrown midfielder Omir Fernandez leads the Red Bulls with six assists. Brazilian goalkeeper Carlos Coronel, who finished tied with the Rapids’ William Yarbrough for most shutouts last season (13), has posted five clean sheets this year. 

The Rapids, on their part, will be looking to bounce back from a 2-1 loss on the road to Seattle Sounders FC. Lewis opened the scoring against the defending Concacaf Champions League winners in the third minute of the match, finishing off an incisive through ball from Diego Rubio to record his second goal against Seattle in 2022. The U.S. international has now recorded two assists and a goal over his last two appearances, while Rubio extended his recent run of form to five games with either a goal or an assist, his second-longest streak in his MLS career following a similar run of eight games in 2018 while with Sporting Kansas City.

Tuesday’s match will see a few familiar faces reunite. Fraser previously spent two years as an assistant coach with the Red Bulls (2013-14), helping guide the club to its first-ever Supporters’ Shield in 2013. Rapids forward Dantouma “Yaya” Toure was a product of the Red Bulls’ academy system before joining Colorado in March 2021. On the home side, Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett was drafted by the Rapids in the second round of the MLS Inaugural Draft in 1996. Hamlett was named the BIC Tough Defender of the Year Award in his lone season with the club. Similarly, Red Bulls Associate Director of Player Personnel and Strategic Planning Michael Holody was drafted by the Rapids with the 59th pick of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. Holody went on to score one goal over four appearances for the club from 2009-2011.