The Big Picture
Jonathan Lewis scored and William Yarbrough made seven saves as the third-place Colorado Rapids (11-4-5, 38 points) earned a hard-fought point in a 1-1 draw at second-place Sporting Kansas City (11-4-7, 40 points) on Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park. Lewis earned his third goal of the season when he fired home his own rebound in the 17th minute. The Rapids extend their unbeaten run to six games and improve to 5-3-2 (W-L-D) on the road this season. The match saw Brazilian D Lucas Esteves play 22 minutes as he made his Rapids debut.
- The Rapids trail Sporting KC by two points in the Western Conference standings with two games in hand. Colorado's 1.9 points per game are the third-most in MLS.
- The Rapids have five players with three or more goals scored this season, which is tied for the most in MLS (Galaxy, NYCFC).
- Colorado is unbeaten in its last six matches and is 6-1-4 (W-L-D) in its last 11.
- Six games is Colorado's longest unbeaten run under HC Robin Fraser. Four games unbeaten on the road is tied for the most under Fraser.
- F Jonathan Lewis scored his third goal of the season. The 24-year-old now has two goals in his last two starts.
- D Lucas Esteves made his Rapids debut, playing 22 minutes as a substitute. Esteves was acquired on loan from Palmeiras (Brazil) on Aug. 6.
- D Danny Wilson made his 70th MLS appearance with Colorado.
- F Cole Bassett made his 20th appearance of the season, matching a career-high set in 2019.
COLORADO RAPIDS HEAD COACH ROBIN FRASER
On the match...
“Really hard fought game. Kansas City in Kansas City is one of the most difficult in the league, in my opinion. We had some really good moments to start the game. I thought we started off really well. Made a few mistakes, lost a little bit of confidence. The second half of the first half wasn’t quite like the first half was. The second half we came out and put together some good play again, but you’re never going to beat Kansas City down, and surely enough, they came back and came back really strong. It was a very, very wide open game at times. Very back and forth. As I said, it’s one of the toughest places to play. They’re one of the best teams in their stadium in the league. I was really proud of how the guys fought and created some really good chances and gave ourselves a chance to win. That’s one of the things about this team is that we—through our fight and determination—we’ve lately been giving ourselves a chance to win every game. That’s really a great position to be in, where you feel like going into every game you have a chance to win. Certainly, we got tested as much as we are going to get tested by a very good Kansas City team, but I was really proud of the effort, again.”
On what tonight showed about the team's progress...
“I think two things stood out to me. One is when you look at how the game started, I think [the team] should feel confident that when they do things the right way and execute the right way that they can be really effective even against good teams, which I think is obviously important once you get down to the end of the year and you’re into really meaningful games against really good teams. And then the other part of it that came out of it, even when things don’t go well, through fight and determination they can keep themselves in games and still manufacture ways to win games. I thought both things were on display tonight. Obviously you get down to the end of the year, you play against the best teams. These are characteristics that are going to be important.”
COLORADO RAPIDS FORWARD JONATHAN LEWIS
On what has worked for him in recent matches...
“Just playing with a lot of confidence, trusting the team, playing on the front foot and just pressing. Just emptying out the tank. Coming into games, I just try to be as confident as I can, just be as aggressive as I can starting with the defensive responsibilities leading into attack. And just trying to be as clinical as I can. For me, I think it’s a credit to the team. They’re getting me the ball in spaces where I ca go 1v1, get the ball in behind where I feel like I’m dangerous. It’s just about taking the opportunity and continuing to work hard and continuing to, from the start of the defensive end, creating attacks from that way.”
On his goal...
“It was just an opportunistic finish. We had a really good build-up play. Andre [Shinyashiki] set me up perfectly. [Graham] Zusi made a good block, but I was able to get the second ball and follow up on the rebound. Just keeping my composure when [Tim] Melia was recovering. I felt like I was going to score today and I felt like, honestly, I could’ve had more today. It’s just keeping the rhythm going and keep being aggressive, keep getting into the box and hopefully finding more goals.”