COMMERCE CITY, Colo. ― The Colorado Rapids (6-3-3, 21 points) close out a four-game homestand when FC Dallas (2-6-5, 11 points) visits DICK’S Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday, July 21. Kickoff is set for 7 PM, with pregame coverage beginning on Altitude Sports at 6:30 PM, and on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM.
“We’re looking forward to seeing Dallas for the third time early in this season, [which] is a little bit unusual,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said. “They’re a team that has given us a really tough time so far and a very talented team. Regardless of what their record says, they’re obviously a very talented team. Some of their games have been so much better than their results. We know for us it’s going to be a really difficult challenge.”
The Rapids are coming off just three days’ rest following their 1-1 draw against San Jose on Saturday. Cole Bassett scored his third goal of the season with a left-footed strike through traffic to level the score in the 53rd minute. Nico Benezet and Nicolás Mezquida earned their first assists of the season on the goal. 17-year-old Dantouma “Yaya” Toure made his MLS debut in the second half, becoming the sixth teenager to make his MLS debut with Colorado since 2018.
The match extended Colorado’s successful run of form at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are unbeaten in their last six at DSGP, including a 3-0 win over FC Dallas on May 29. The Burgundy Boys have scored in 31 consecutive MLS matches at DSGP, the longest active home scoring streak in MLS. A goal on Wednesday would extend the streak to 32, tied for the fifth-longest in MLS history.
Bassett’s goal tied him with Diego Rubio and Michael Barrios for the team lead. Barrios is also tied with captain Jack Price for the team lead with four assists. Rubio is tied for second in MLS with three game-winning goals, while Barrios is tied for second in the league with three game-winning assists. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough is tied for second in MLS with five clean sheets, two coming against Dallas this season.
Colorado will be without Kellyn Acosta, Jonathan Lewis and Sam Vines, who are all with the U.S. Men’s National Team at the Concacaf Gold Cup. Vines became the first Rapids Academy product to score for the U.S. at a senior international tournament with his game-winning header against Haiti in Group B action. The U.S. will play its quarterfinal match on Sunday.
Dallas enters the match winless in its last three, including consecutive losses to LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers. This is the final match of a three-game road trip for Luchi Gonzalez’ side. Ricardo Pepi paces the team with five goals, while Jesus Ferreira and Ryan Hollingshead each have three assists.
Wednesday’s game marks the second meeting of the season between these teams. They battled to a scoreless draw on Opening Day in Frisco, Texas, before the Rapids’ 3-0 win at DSGP on May 29. Colorado can earn seven points from three games against Dallas for the first time since 2008. The Rapids are undefeated in their last seven meetings with Dallas at DSGP and have won the last three.
After Wednesday, the Rapids will be on the road for seven of their next ten matches. They take on Rocky Mountain Cup rival Real Salt Lake for the first time on Saturday, July 24, closing out a three-game week in Utah.
“It’s not only the back line, it’s the whole team,” defender Lalas Abubakar said of the Rapids’ two clean sheets against Dallas so far this season. “It starts from the front, the midfield and the back line. Being dense, staying tight and communicating has been key for us so far. We have to continue doing that.”
News & Notes
- The Rapids will be without Kellyn Acosta, Jonathan Lewis and Sam Vines, who are all with the 23-player U.S. Men’s National Team at Concacaf Gold Cup. Vines is the first Rapids Academy product to be named to the USMNT for a senior international tournament. Vines scored his first USMNT goal in the 1-0 win over Haiti in Group B action. Colorado is tied with Atlanta for the most players on the USMNT Gold Cup roster.
- The Rapids are the only team in MLS not to concede a goal in the final 15 minutes of matches this season. Colorado has allowed just four second-half goals, the fewest in MLS.
- Colorado has scored in 31 consecutive MLS matches at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, the longest active home scoring streak in MLS. The streak is currently tied with Atlanta United (May 20, 2018 to Aug. 29, 2020) for the sixth-longest in MLS history. Colorado has outscored its opponents by 19 in that time.
- The Rapids are 10-2-4 at home under HC Robin Fraser.
- The Rapids are undefeated in their last seven meetings against FC Dallas at DGSP since April 2015 and have won the last three. Colorado can take seven points from three games against Dallas in a single season for the first time since 2008 (they’ve played three games in a season six times since then).
- Colorado has picked up two clean sheets against FC Dallas this season. The Rapids have swept the season series once, back in 2000 with a pair of 1-0 wins, which was also the only time Colorado went an entire season without conceding a goal to Dallas.
- On Saturday, 17-year-old F Dantouma “Yaya” Toure made his MLS debut. Toure signed a Homegrown Player contract with the Rapids in March and has one goal in seven appearances with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the USL Championship. Other teenagers to make their MLS debuts since 2018 include: Cole Bassett (17 years, 42 days old at debut), Sam Vines (19 years, 143 days), Sebastian Anderson (16 years, 262 days), Braian Galván (19 years, 289 days) and M Oliver Larraz (19 years, 241 days).
- Nico Benezet’s next appearance will be the 30th of his MLS career. The 30-year-old Frenchman has four assists in 21 career matches with Colorado and picked up an assist in his first start of the season on July 17.