COMMERCE CITY, Colo. ― The Colorado Rapids (5-3-2, 17 points) will look to make it five games unbeaten at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park when they host Minnesota United FC (4-4-3, 15 points) on Wednesday, July 7. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. MT, with pregame coverage beginning on Altitude Sports at 6:30 p.m. and on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM at 6:45 p.m.
“It’s another really tough game for us. Minnesota’s run of form recently has been incredibly good. Another really big test for us,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said. “They’ve brought in some new players and it was only a matter of time before they started clicking. They have too many talented players to not be playing well. They’re starting to put together much more now and at the end of their attacks they’re getting something for it. As a result, their confidence grows, and they play better.”
The Rapids enter the match on just two days’ rest following their 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on the Fourth of July. For the first time in over a year, over 17,000 fans were on hand to watch as the Rapids rallied to equalize with a left-footed strike from Michael Barrios. The goal was Barrios’ third of the season, tying Diego Rubio for the team lead, and gave Barrios three goals and three assists in his last six games. After the match, the Rapids retired the No. 25 of club legend Pablo Mastroeni and celebrated the largest fireworks show in the state of Colorado.
Colorado’s four-game home unbeaten run started on May 8 on Minnesota’s last visit. The Loons raced to a 2-0 lead at halftime, but goals from Kellyn Acosta, Cole Bassett and Danny Wilson secured the Rapids’ first home win of the season. They then defeated Houston, 3-1, and FC Dallas, 3-0, prior to Sunday’s draw with Seattle.
The Rapids have scored in 29 consecutive MLS matches at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, the longest active home scoring streak in MLS, and have won three of four all-time meetings against Minnesota at DSGP, including each of the last three.
Last week, Acosta, Sam Vines and Jonathan Lewis were named to the 23-player U.S. Men’s National Team for the upcoming Concacaf Gold Cup. The Rapids will be without Vines and Lewis on Wednesday, while Acosta is available for selection and will join the USMNT after the match. Colorado is tied with Atlanta for the most players called up to the USMNT for the Gold Cup. Vines becomes the first Rapids Academy product ever to be named to the USMNT for a senior international tournament.
Minnesota is undefeated in seven matches since its second-half collapse in Colorado on May 8. Buoyed by the arrivals of midfielder Adrien Hunou and forward Franco Fragapane, the Loons defeated Vancouver and FC Dallas, each 1-0, before 1-1 draws against Real Salt Lake and Dallas. The Loons earned shutout victories over Austin and Portland before dropping points on Saturday against San Jose.
Hunou and Fragapane are tied for the team lead with two goals each since joining the Loons, while Fragapane also has three assists in those four games. Goalkeeper Tyler Miller has started all seven games during Minnesota’s unbeaten run in place of Dayne St. Clair, allowing just four goals and keeping four clean sheets.
The match is the second of a four-game homestand for the Rapids. Colorado hosts San Jose on July 17 and FC Dallas on July 21.
“For us it’s the next guy up,” Acosta said. “There’s guys here that have been training well and are eager to play and ready to go. Everyone’s going to have an opportunity. We have a deep roster. Guys are hungry. It’s going to be a good test for everyone.”
News & Notes
- M Kellyn Acosta, F Jonathan Lewis and D Sam Vines were named to the 23-player U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the upcoming Concacaf Gold Cup. Colorado is tied with Atlanta for the most players on the USMNT Gold Cup roster.
- The Rapids have scored in 29 consecutive MLS matches at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, the longest active home scoring streak in the league.
- Colorado has won three of four meetings against Minnesota at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, including each of the last three.
- HC Robin Fraser started his tenure in 2019 with four straight wins at home and an unbeaten run of five games. A win or draw on Wednesday would equal Colorado’s longest home unbeaten run under Fraser.
- D Sam Vines was named to the 23-player U.S. Men’s National Team for the upcoming Concacaf Gold Cup, becoming the first Rapids Academy product to be called up to the USMNT for a senior international tournament.
- F Michael Barrios has three goals and three assists in his last six games, which is his best production over six games since he tallied two goals and five assists from Aug. 10 – 31, 2019, a season in which he posted five goals and a career-high 15 assists. His next appearance will be his 190th in MLS. The 30-year-old Colombian is one of five players in MLS to register at least 30 goals and 40 assists since 2015.
- M Kellyn Acosta leads the team and is tied for sixth in MLS with 22 tackles on this season.
- GK William Yarbrough’s four shutouts are tied for second in MLS. Yarbrough’s next clean sheet will pass his total of four from 2020, his first season with Colorado. His next win will be his sixth of the season, which would match his total from 14 appearances in 2020.