The Colorado Rapids (2-3-3, 8 pts) will look to extend a club-record unbeaten streak at home on Saturday night as they host the Portland Timbers (2-2-5, 11 pts) for the first time since their playoff loss last season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. MT and the match will be broadcast on Altitude Sports and Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM.
“They’re one of the best, if not the best, counterattacking teams in the league and they’ve done it for years where they’ve absorbed a lot of pressure and the second you give them any kind of a break, they turn it into a goal,” said Rapids head coach Robin Fraser ahead of the match. “So for us, the shape behind the ball is very important, and what we do behind their attacks to slow down their transition, I think is going to be very critical.”
Fraser’s side enter Saturday’s game after setting a new club record for most games unbeaten at home during the regular season (20) following their 0-0 draw with Charlotte FC. That run, which is currently the seventh-longest such streak in MLS, was anchored by a Team of the Week performance from goalkeeper William Yarbrough that saw him make a season-high five saves en route to his 20th career shutout with the Rapids. The two-time Liga MX champion, who currently ranks fifth all-time in Rapids history in clean sheets, is now three shutouts away from matching Tim Howard’s mark of 23 with the club. Chilean forward Diego Rubio, who hit the post twice on Saturday, leads the Rapids with four goals from eight appearances in 2022.
On the other end of the pitch, the Timbers arrive in Colorado following a mini run of their own, having recorded two shutouts in consecutive scoreless draws against Houston Dynamo FC, and most recently, Real Salt Lake. Despite the recent scoreless run, Gio Savarese’s side has won seven of its last 12 away matches (7-2-3 including playoffs), losing only one of its last six on the road (3-1-2). Designated Player Yimmi Chara leads the team with three goals and three asissts for the Timbers so far in the season.
The Rapids are currently unbeaten against Portland in their past five regular season games (2-0-3), but the Oregon side arguably recorded the biggest victory in the series’ history the last time the two sides met, eliminating Colorado from the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs with a stoppage-time win in the Western Conference Semifinals last year.
Off the pitch, Saturday’s match will celebrate ‘Clean Colorado Night’ as the Rapids help the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment kick off ‘Air Quality Awareness Week,” which spans from May 4-8. Fans are encouraged to take advantage of the recently launched Burgundy Bike Lot to help the fight in cutting down greenhouse gas emission levels.