COMMERCE CITY, Colo. ― The Colorado Rapids (0-1-1, 1 pt.) will seek their first victory of the season when they visit Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1-0-1, 4 pts.) on Sunday, May 2. Kickoff is set for 8 PM at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, where Whitecaps FC is based while travel restrictions are still in place between the U.S. and Canada. Fans can tune into pregame coverage on Altitude Sports beginning at 7:30 PM and Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM at 7:45 PM.
“It’s another opportunity to go and play. A big thing for us is we weren’t happy with our performance a week ago. We’ve worked hard throughout the week to be sharper and better and looking forward to playing,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said ahead of the match.
Colorado is coming off a 3-1 loss to Austin FC at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park on Saturday. Forward Andre Shinyashiki scored the Rapids’ first goal of 2021 when he headed home captain Jack Price’s delivery from the corner flag, but three second-half goals secured the victory for Austin. The match was the first with fans in attendance at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park since March 7, 2020, a span of 413 days.
In Vancouver’s last match, Cristian Dájome and Andy Rose scored in the second half to overcome an early one-goal deficit, but Toronto’s Jonathan Osorio equalized in the 82nd minute to split the points between the two Canadian sides. The match was played at Toronto’s temporary home of Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
Whitecaps FC opened its season with a 1-0 win over Portland Timbers in Utah in which Lucas Cavallini scored a header off a corner kick from Cristián Gutiérrez.
“It’s really much more about our performance and our accountability to each other,” Fraser added. “Vancouver is a good team, they have some very good players who are dangerous and different types of dangerous players. It’s going to be really important that we’re really switched on.”
This is the first of two meetings between these teams this season and the first since June 2019, when the Rapids earned a 2-2 draw at BC Place in Vancouver. Former Whitecaps FC midfielder Nicolás Mezquida picked up two assists on a pair of tap-ins from Diego Rubio and Shinyashiki before Vancouver’s Fredy Montero scored from the penalty spot and Yordy Reyna equalized in the 80th minute. Whitecaps FC will visit Colorado on Sept. 19.
News & Notes
- M Nicolás Mezquida spent five seasons with Whitecaps FC, scoring 12 goals and adding four assists in 101 appearances. The Uruguayan has five goals and seven assists in 50 MLS matches with Colorado since 2019.
- D Steven Beitashour made 54 starts for Whitecaps FC in 2014 and 2015, adding eight assists.
- F Michael Barrios is currently fifth in MLS with an 80 percent shooting accuracy. Barrios is tied for sixth in the league with four shots on target. The Colombian leads Colorado with eight shots through two games.
- M Younes Namli is tied for third in MLS with six dribbles completed. Namli was second in MLS with 66 dribbles completed in 2020.
- M Kellyn Acosta’s next start will be the 150th of his MLS career. The 25-year-old has 15 goals and 18 assists in 177 career MLS appearances, including six goals and six assists in 60 appearances with Colorado. Acosta filled in for an injured D Sam Vines in the first two matches of the season, winning an MLS-best eight tackles while coming up with seven interceptions, the most on the team.
- F Diego Rubio’s next goal will be the 30th of his MLS career. The Chilean has scored 14 goals and added nine assists in 44 appearances with Colorado.