The Rapids fell short at home against expansion side Austin FC in the team’s home opener on Saturday night. Andre Shinyashiki scored the first goal of 2021 in the 36th minute with a header off a corner kick. The goal marked the Rapids 25th straight in games on their home turf at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids seemed to be the dominant team in the first half, but once Austin scored in the second, they couldn’t regain their footing. Despite the final score, the squad generated chances. Overall, the Rapids finished the game with 19 shots, six on frame, and 11 corner kicks compared to Austin’s 14 shots and three corner kicks.
Head coach Robin Fraser
"There’s not a lot to say. I don’t think we played particularly well tonight. Austin is a good team, a good possession team. Part of the way we have to deal with them is we have to be good with the ball and tonight we weren’t."
On the impact of fans back in the stadium
"It was definitely a great time with fans in the stands. Certainly, wish we would’ve given them a better performance. We’ve talked about playing for our fans for a while now, not having them here was something that we missed, and we’ve been looking forward to having them back. Our resolve has to be has to be that it’s going to be better."
On what went wrong
"I think there were mistakes upon mistakes that led to putting ourselves into difficult spots. Some through concentration, some through physical mistakes… Mistakes start to compound themselves. When you have that, then you have yourself under pressure, and, ultimately, it leads to giving away chances."
On the difference between the two halves
"I think in the first half we were able to find some decent counterattacking moments and win balls in good spots and we were able to use the space behind them. We still weren’t as comfortable in possession as we would have liked to have been, but we were able to find counterattacking moments and create some pretty dangerous situations. Then, in the second half, we weren’t able to win the balls in the same spots, which, I think didn’t allow us to have the same sort of counterattacking opportunities. But the problems of the first half were the problems of the second half. It’s just we weren’t good enough in possession."
Midfielder Kellyn Acosta
On what went wrong against Austin
"It started from the first whistle. We came out kind of flat, we weren’t clean with the ball, and, I mean Austin is a footballing team. They got comfortable early, and we were just uncomfortable for the game. Once they scored that first goal, it was tough on us, but I thought we could have had a better answer. But, overall, I thought we had some good moments, but it was a poor performance by all of us."
On the mindset moving forward
"Every game is going to be a physical battle. Every team is going to bring their own challenges. Austin is a footballing team. Vancouver is a different team in their own sense. Now it’s about watching film, regroup and build onto next week. There’s plenty of football left to play, and we’ve got to move forward."
On playing in front of home fans
"It was huge. We’re so happy to have the fans back in the stands. We were just feeding off their energy. It was definitely huge to have."
Forward Andre Shinyashiki
"I’m kind of upset because we lost the game. There’s not much else to say, you know. If you’re going to ask if I feel good about scoring a goal, no, I don’t. At the end of the day we lost the game at home, and that’s it."
On giving up three goals in the span of 12 minutes
"It seems to be a theme with us. We talked a lot since last year. We give up one goal, the flood gates open, and we give up two or three. It happens consistently. It’s something we have to change. It’s a mentality of not only not conceding the first one, but, if we end up conceding the first one, we pick up our heads, and do better, so we don’t give up the second or the third. It happened way too often last year and in 2019, too. It’s just something we have to get better at."
On Sunday, May 2, the Rapids travel to Salt Lake City to take on Vancouver Whitecap FC. Kickoff is slated for 8:00 PM MT