Colorado Rapids

Rapids Fall to Minnesota United FC in Two-Day Open Cup Affair

The Colorado Rapids fell to Minnesota United FC 2-1 in the Open Cup Round of 32 on Thursday afternoon at Allianz Field, after resuming a postponed Wednesday night matchup.

“We did enough to put ourselves in a really good position to win the game, so obviously really disappointed to not win it,” said Robin Fraser postgame. “After we worked through some issues with our defending between last night and today, we were pretty solid, didn't give up too many opportunities, and we created a ton of opportunities in transition.”

On Wednesday night, the Loons took the lead in the 8th minute when striker Abu Danladi put one away after finding a splitting run between Keegan Rosenberry and Auston Trusty. The Rapids replied quickly, as Diego Rubio's free kick at the top of the box was deflected off the wall twice and cleanly driven into the back of the net by a waiting Nicolás Mezquida in the 15th minute.

When the Rapids resumed the game on Thursday afternoon, neither side could find the upper hand in the first 45 minutes, but Colorado wasn’t without chances after tallying six shots compared to Minnesota’s two.

One such opportunity came from 2022 MLS SuperDraft pick Anthony Markanich, who made his Rapids debut in the Open Cup matchup. The defender out of Northern Illinois University started and played all 90 minutes plus stoppage time, and nearly put the Rapids up in the 33rd minute when Diego Rubio sent a cross into the box but Markanich's header hit the woodwork and trickled out of bounds.

“It's not easy making your debut, especially considering the circumstances of last night and today,” said fellow defender Keegan Rosenberry postgame. “It's a testament to the player he is, the person he is, the way he goes about his business in training and throughout this entire first professional year. The guys fully supported him in his debut today.” 

Striker Jonathan Lewis took a breakaway opportunity in the 83rd minute but was fouled by Minnesota’s Brent Kallman, prompting a second yellow and subsequent red card for the midfielder to put the Loons down to ten men. 

The Rapids couldn’t find a chance on goal before Minnesota struck, despite being down a man. Emanuel Reyenoso’s drive into the box and far-post shot in the 87th minute gave the Loons the game-winning goal to advance to the USOC Round of 16. 

Colorado faces a tight turnaround as they return home to DICK’s Sporting Goods Park for a Saturday afternoon trial against Western Conference leaders, LAFC. 

“In the face of what seems like pretty untenable circumstances, we have to be able to lean on each other and lean on ourselves and come up with an effort that is worthy of how this team has been for a long time, which is that we don't quit,” said Fraser. “We fight for each other in tough circumstances, then we get even closer. This is one of those situations where we really have to lean on each other and do everything we can to be ready to come out and give a proper performance on Saturday.”

Kickoff at altitude is set for 1:30 p.m. The game will be nationally broadcasted on Univision, TUDN, and Twitter.