Colorado Rapids

Preview | Rapids set to host 28th annual 4th of July match against I-70 rival Sporting Kansas City


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. —The Colorado Rapids (9-8-4, 31 pts.) return home for an Independence Day matchup with Sporting Kansas City (4-12-5, 17 pts.). Kickoff at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park is set for 7:30 p.m. ET (Apple TV—MLS Season Pass, Altitude Sports Radio 950AM).

In what will be the first of two matchups between these clubs in 2024, three points will be crucial at this point in the MLS regular season. Colorado will be looking to aid in solidifying their playoff hopes as they currently sit in fourth in the Western Conference. On the other hand, Kansas City will attempt to stretch together positive results to help crawl back into the playoff picture from 13th in the Conference.

This marks the third Fourth of July clash between these original MLS sides, with Colorado boasting an undefeated record in previous encounters on this patriotic date in 2003 and 2005, both victories at home.

The Rapids have an opportunity to bounce back from their most recent match, a 3-0 loss at the hands of LAFC on the road. Before that, the club was riding a three-match win streak where they outscored their opponents 9-1. In a tight Conference around the midpoint of the season, Colorado hopes to continue their success at home in 2024. With a current record of 5-2-2, the Rapids have the chance to extend their four-match unbeaten stretch at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park against Kansas City.

The opposition in Thursday’s match is coming off arguably their best performance of the season in a 2-0 victory over Austin FC. Tim Leibold and Stephen Afrifa had the goals for Kansas City to secure the club’s fourth win of the year. While that victory was at home, SKC has had most of their struggles come on the road this season with a record of 1-7-2.

Thursday’s match will add to the longstanding history between these two original MLS sides. Kansas City holds the edge in the all-time series, posting a 35-25-25 record against the Rapids. While they have had their success across their history, SKC has not won a match at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park since March 29, 2014. The Rapids also bested their opponent in their most recent clash, a 0-1 victory at Children’s Mercy Park in April of 2023.

Memories may stir for Rapids Homegrown forward Darren Yapi, who debuted against SKC on March 12, 2023, and earned his first MLS assist against the same opponent a month later. Adding to the narrative, Rapids midfielder Jasper Löffelsend marked his MLS debut against SKC in March 2022 with RSL.

The ties between these clubs run deep. SKC head coach Peter Vermes, once a Rapids player, logged over 7,700 minutes for Colorado from 1997 to 1999. Rapids midfielder Jonathan Lewis and SKC forward Khiry Shelton were former NYCFC teammates in 2017, while Zack Steffen and SKC’s Erik Thommy played together at Fortuna Düsseldorf in 2019. Most recently, Rapids midfielder Cole Bassett and SKC goalkeeper John Pulskamp were U-23 U.S. Youth National Team teammates in November 2023.

The Rapids have had two recent pieces of news surrounding the roster that adds to their 2024 campaign that has already had its fair share of memorable moments. First, the club has announced the permanent transfer of Designated Player Rafael Navarro. The club’s leading goalscorer is now with the club on a long-term deal after previously being on loan from Palmeiras. Second is the naming of Captain Keegan Rosenberry to the 2024 MLS All Star Game. The defender was selected by Columbus Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy to participate with the league’s best against the Liga MX All-Stars on July 24.