Colorado Rapids

Preview: Rapids welcome Minnesota United FC to altitude for Matchday 4


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids are back home this Saturday, March 18, as they welcome Minnesota United FC at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park for Matchday 4 (7:30 p.m. MT; Apple TV – Free, Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM).

Colorado enters the game looking to extend a nine-game unbeaten run at home after playing to a 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City in their home opener two weeks ago. That result continued one of the best runs of forms at home in MLS over recent years: since 2021, the Rapids are tied for the fewest losses at home in the league (3) and currently hold the third-best win percentage at home in MLS (72.9%). The only teams with a better win percentage at home in that span are last year’s MLS Cup finalists, LAFC and the Philadelphia Union.

Key to the Rapids’ homefield dominance has been goalkeeper William Yarbrough. Following a career performance in his last home match, Yarbrough is just two shutouts away from matching the club record for most clean sheets all-time, which is currently held by Matt Pickens (29). The two-time Liga MX champion currently leads MLS with 18 saves in 2023.

Saturday’s game will be the sixth time the Rapids face the Loons at home in the regular season since the midwestern side began MLS play in 2017. The Rapids are undefeated against Minnesota at home all-time, posting a record of 5-0-1 at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park with the only draw taking place in their very first meeting on March 18, 2017. Overall, Colorado has only lost once in their past five meetings against the Loons. Rapids forward Michael Barrios has recorded nine assists against Minnesota United FC during his MLS career, tied for most all-time along with Sporting Kansas City’s Johnny Russell. Similarly, Rapids forward Diego Rubio has scored five career goals against the Loons, the second-highest individual career mark, only behind ex-Rapids forward Gyasi Zardes who has scored six goals against the Loons during his career.

Minnesota forwards Mender García and Bongokuhle Hlongwane lead their side with one goal apiece in their respective 2023 accounts. Goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair has recorded four saves and a clean sheet on the year. MUFC goalkeeper Clint Irwin returns to Colorado for the first time since joining the Loons as a free agent this past offseason. Irwin previously spent seven seasons with the Rapids, etching his name in Rapids history as the goalkeeper with the second-most appearances (105), third most wins (35), third-most clean sheets (26) and fifth-most saves all-time (311).

Current Rapids winger Sam Nicholson first joined MLS in 2017 when he signed with Minnesota after his time with Heart of Midlothian of the Scottish Premiership. Nicholson scored a pair of goals and delivered a pair of assists across 20 appearances for the Loons before joining Colorado via trade with Minnesota.