Colorado Rapids

Preview | Rapids take on Orlando City SC on the road


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids (2-8-7, 13 pts) go on the road to face Orlando City SC (6-4-5, 23 pts) at Exploria Stadium this Saturday, June 10, for Matchday 18 (5:30 p.m. MT; Apple TV – Free, Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM). 

Last Saturday, a 10-man Rapids held a visiting San Jose Earthquakes to a scoreless draw after 2023 MLS SuperDraft pick Moïse Bombito was sent off for a second yellow card just minutes into the start of the second half. Rapids goalkeeper Marko Ilić, on loan from Belgian Pro League side Kortrijk, recorded his second start for the club and first clean sheet for Colorado. Despite being a man down, the Rapids outshot and outpossessed San Jose, containing the Quakes to zero shots on target, the first time since Aug. 2021 that the Rapids have not faced a shot on target in a match. 

The Rapids will be boosted by the return of homegrown forward Darren Yapi from national team duty after missing the last six league games while gone with the U.S. U-20 Men’s Youth National team in Argentina for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Yapi featured in all three of the United States’ group stage matches, earning the start in their 3-0 win over Fiji. The U.S. reached the quarterfinals of the tournament before ultimately falling 2-0 to Uruguay.

Colorado’s 2023 minutes leader, Connor Ronan, has been a bright spot for the Rapids since joining the club from England’s Wolverhampton Wanderers FC this past offseason on a four-year deal. The Irish international has recorded one goal and six assists through his first 17 games in Burgundy, including one goal and five assists in his last seven league appearances. His six assists this season are currently tied for sixth-most in the league. Ronan has had two multi-assist games, which includes a three-assist game against the LA Galaxy that saw Ronan become the first Rapids player since Jack Price in 2019 to log three assists in a single game. He has also started every league match of this season for the team.

Orlando City SC enter Saturday’s match on a five-game unbeaten streak, most recently defeating the New York Red Bulls 3-0 on the road. Midfielder Iván Angulo opened the scoring against RBNY, his third goal of the season, while adding his first assist of the year to seal the game. The club has five goal scorers with three or more goals, with Facundo Torres, Duncan McGuire and Ercan Kara leading the team with 4 goals each. Last Saturday, Torres scored a second-half brace to put the game out of reach. Midfielder Martin Ojeda leads the team with five assists, while Peruvian national team goalkeeper Pedro Gallese has recorded four shutouts. The Rapids have never won on the road against Orlando City SC but are unbeaten in their last two matchups. The last time the two teams faced each other in Exploria Stadium was 2019, which saw a two-hour lightning delay and two late-game goals from Orlando in a 4-3 win for the Lions.

Prior to Saturday’s match, the Rapids Unified team will play its first road game of the 2023 season against Orlando City SC’s Unified team at Exploria Stadium. The Rapids Unified team is undefeated this season after defeating Real Salt Lake Unified 1-0, courtesy of a last-minute goal to seal the victory and collect the 2023 Unified Rocky Mountain Cup.