The Colorado Rapids battled to their first scoreless draw of the 2022 season against MLS newcomer Charlotte FC on Saturday night at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park. In the draw, Designated Player Gyasi Zardes made his debut in front of a home crowd as the Rapids set a new all-time regular season home unbeaten run of 20 games.

The Rapids forced Charlotte into the defensive third for most of the first 45, as they outshot the expansion side seven to five. Captain Jack Price went down in that time with an apparent injury, but not before serving in four corners. Price is just one assist away from sole possession of second-most assists all-time in club history with a current total of 34.

The remainder of the match saw a defensively-sound Rapids performance, keeping the Queen City's expansion side scoreless until the final whistle.

"[They were] certainly were able to put us under pressure and keep us under pressure for stretches in second half," said head coach Robin Fraser. "In terms of what I would like to see us do is be able to move the ball quicker. We needed to do a better job of getting the ball off one side into the other side and making them chase side to side a bit more, which would have allowed us the opportunity to set up more attacks."

Goalkeeper William Yarbrough kept the Rapids in the game on more than one occasion on Saturday night, batting away five shots on target, two of them in the same attacking charge. The scoreline marks his third shutout of the 2022 season.

Zardes took to the pitch in the 60th minute. The DP comes to Colorado from the Columbus Crew, where he occupies the third spot on the club’s all-time leading goal scorer list with 61 goals in 122 appearances across all competitions.

The striker joins an already attack-minded Colorado squad. Seven different Burgundy Boys fired shots on Charlotte’s Kahlina, with Rubio, Trusty, Esteves and Vallecilla taking two apiece. Rubio found himself denied unjustly for the second week in a row as he hit the woodwork twice over the full 90, repeating an unlucky performance against Minnesota.

"It's an honor to step on the field with this new organization that I'm a part of," Zardes said postgame. "I know it was a quick turnaround, but just to be a part of this group, I'm excited to start this new journey. I had to get adjusted to the altitude right away, but it's about understanding the players that are on the field with me...I know this week, I'm going to take advantage of talking to my teammate and talking to the coaching staff to make sure that I understand the principles and the structure of this team."

Several other Rapids members hit milestones in their careers on Saturday night. Defender Gustavo Vallecilla recorded his first start for the Rapids, while both Jonathan Lewis and Mark-Anthony Kaye hit 100 total MLS appearances. Defender Steven Beitashour also surpassed 22,000 minutes played in the league in the matchup.

The altitude, grit of the players, and unbridled support from the Rapids fans can extend that streak next week as Colorado looks for redemption against Portland Timbers FC after they eliminated the Rapids in the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs. Kickoff at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park is set for 7:00 p.m.