COMMERCE CITY, Colo. ― The Colorado Rapids (11-4-5, 38 points) will look to extend their unbeaten run to seven games when they visit the San Jose Earthquakes (6-7-8, 24 points) on Saturday, Sept. 4. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. MT at PayPal Park. The match will be nationally televised on UniMás, TUDN and streamed live on Twitter. Fans can also tune in to Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM, with pregame coverage starting at 7:45 p.m.
“[San Jose is] the kind of team that creates a lot of chaos. Their man-to-man marking system can allow the game to get very chaotic,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said. “For us, in the last game, we had so many turnovers in the first half that we lost control of the game immediately and it became a very long day for us. Part of it is going to be to be disciplined in how we approach, disciplined in how we defend and if we can keep our discipline and hopefully play as close to the way we would like to play as possible.”
Colorado is unbeaten in its last six games, winning four. The Rapids won, 1-0, at Austin on July 31, before a scoreless draw to Sporting KC at home on Aug. 7. They then handed Houston its first home loss of the season on Aug. 14 before a thrilling 2-1 win at LA Galaxy three days later. The Rapids closed out a nine-point week with a come-from-behind, 2-1 win over Rocky Mountain Cup rival Real Salt Lake. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough made seven saves to help Colorado split points with Sporting KC on Saturday, ending the month of August undefeated and four points off first-place Seattle with two games in hand.
Andre Shinyashiki scored the winning goals in Austin and Los Angeles, while Jonathan Lewis opened the scoring against LA and Sporting. Lalas Abubakar, Michael Barrios and Braian Galván scored in Houston, and Diego Rubio and Mark-Anthony Kaye added to their goal tallies against RSL.
Barrios’ goal was his team-leading fifth of the season, while Lewis’ goal was his third of 2021, giving the Rapids five players with three or more goals scored this season, tied for the most in MLS. Yarbrough is second in MLS with a 76.7 save percentage and is tied for second with eight clean sheets. The Rapids have allowed just four goals on their current six-game unbeaten run.
This week marked two years since Fraser’s first game as Rapids head coach. In 45 regular season games since Aug. 31, 2019, the Rapids have won 24 games, scored 77 goals and picked up 81 points – all the most ever by any Rapids head coach through their first 45 games at the helm. Colorado is 12-8-3 (W-L-D) on the road under Fraser; the Rapids’ 12 wins are the most in the league and their 1.7 points per road game are the second-most in that time.
The Quakes, meanwhile, have not lost since June and won their most recent match, 2-1, at LA Galaxy on Aug. 20. Jeremy Ebobisse equalized shortly after halftime before a Galaxy own goal stole three points for the visitors. Matías Almeyda’s men are 2-0-5 (W-L-D) against current Western Conference playoff teams during their unbeaten streak and are in ninth place, just one point outside a playoff spot.
Eduardo “La Chofis” López leads San Jose with five goals, while Cristian Espinoza paces the Quakes with six assists. 17-year-old Cade Cowell has four goals and four assists in 20 games this season.
This is the second meeting of the season between these teams. On July 17 at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, López opened the scoring in the 11th minute before Cole Bassett scored a sweet, left-footed strike from distance to equalize in the 53rd to help the Rapids extend their home unbeaten streak to six games; that streak has since grown to nine.
Colorado will be without midfielders Kellyn Acosta (United States) and Mark-Anthony Kaye (Canada), who are with their respective national teams in 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. Acosta played 25 minutes in the U.S.’ scoreless draw in El Salvador on Thursday, while Kaye did not play in Canada’s 1-1 draw against Honduras. Click here for the qualifying schedule
“They are a team like no other,” Shinyashiki said on Thursday. “The way they man-mark and the way they play presents a challenge that’s very different from other teams. Like I said, the physicality is one of the places they thrive on the most, so we need to match that and if we do that, we let our football take over.”
News & Notes
- A Rapids win would be their sixth on the road in 2021, tying a post-shootout era club record set in 2011.
- GK William Yarbrough is fifth in MLS with 67 saves this season and made 26 saves in the last four games, the most in MLS in that time.
- F Michael Barrios’ next appearance will be the 200th of his MLS career.
- Colorado is 5-3-2 on the road this season, the fourth-best road record in MLS. San Jose, meanwhile, is 3-4-3 at home, fourth-worst in the league.
- San Jose has allowed 332 total shots this season, the most in MLS.
- Colorado’s 9-1-1 record when scoring the first goal is third-best in MLS.
- The Rapids come into the match on a six-game unbeaten run, while San Jose hasn’t lost in 10 matches, the longest active streak in MLS.
- Colorado has hit the woodwork 12 times this season, third-most in MLS. M Cole Bassett is tied for the league lead with six, including four in his last four games.
- The Quakes have the second-highest shooting accuracy (ex. Blocks) in MLS. San Jose has taken 203 shots, 100 of them on target.