Starting XI: William Yarbrough, Keegan Rosenberry, Lalas Abubakar, Danny Wilson, Auston Trusty, Collen Warner, Jack Price (C), Cole Bassett, Nicolás Mezquida, Andre Shinyashiki, Michael Barrios.
Subs: Clint Irwin, Drew Moor, Nicolas Benezet, Kortne Ford, Oliver Larraz, Steven Beitashour, Dantouma "Yaya" Toure, Braian Galván
Player Availability Report:
Out – Younes Namli (injury)
Out – Kellyn Acosta (international duty)
Out – Jonathan Lewis (international duty)
Out – Sam Vines (international duty)
Out – Diego Rubio (injury)
EMBRACING THE CHALLENGE
The Rapids have allowed just four second-half goals in 2021, the fewest in the league, and are the only team in the league not to concede a goal in the final 15 minutes of matches this season. Their +8 second-half goal differential is currently the third-best in MLS.
“It’s a real testament to the players and their grit and fight,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said after Wednesday’s 2-0 win over FC Dallas. “This feeling that we bend but we don’t really break, it’s very much about how they interact with each other and how they play for each other. As a result of that, I think we’ve seen a very cohesive effort late in games. If we have to emergency defend, we’ll emergency defend. If we can keep them away from our goal, we’ll do that. But collectively they’ve taken this challenge on really well and embraced it.”
MIKEY IN THE LEAD
Michael Barrios scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season on Wednesday with a hard shot from distance. The Colombian’s four goals and three assists have all come in Colorado’s last nine games, during which the Rapids are 5-2-2 (W-L-D). Barrios is one of four players in MLS with at least four goals and four assists (Nani, Cade Cowell, Damir Kreilach).
Diego Rubio earned his third assist of the season on Barrios’ goal on Wednesday, lofting the ball out to the left wing for Barrios to cut inside and fire to the far post. The two have combined on five goals so far this year.
CENTENNIAL 38 TAKES UTAH
Approximately 50 members of Centennial 38, the Rapids organized supporters’ group, will make the roughly eight-hour, 540-mile journey from DICK’S Sporting Goods Park to Rio Tinto Stadium by bus to watch the Rapids defend the Rocky Mountain Cup.
On Sept. 12, 2020, the Rapids earned their first ever win at Rio Tinto Stadium with a 5-0 thrashing of Real Salt Lake, erasing a three-goal deficit on aggregate to reclaim the Rocky Mountain Cup.
The Rapids won their last two visits to Rio Tinto Stadium. Colorado defeated temporary tenant Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 2 thanks to Diego Rubio’s stunning free kick golazo.
Cole Bassett had a goal and an assist in his only meeting against RSL, and Braian Galván scored his first goal as a Rapids player in the 5-0 win. Michael Barrios has seven assists in 12 career matches against RSL. Steven Beitashour, who made his Rapids debut on Wednesday, has six assists in 18 matches against RSL.
NOTES & MILESTONES
- Diego Rubio’s next start will be his 50th since joining the Rapids ahead of 2019. The 28-year-old Chilean has 17 goals and 12 assists in 54 appearances with Colorado.
- Cole Bassett is 44 minutes from setting a career-high with 1,064 minutes. Bassett played 1,063 minutes in 20 appearances, 14 as a starter, in 2019. The 19-year-old’s next appearance will be his 54th in MLS, passing Sam Vines for second-most by a Rapids Academy product (Dillon Serna, 105).
- Jack Price leads the team with five assists in 2021, tying his total from 2020. A different teammate has scored all five goals.
- William Yarbrough is tied for the league lead with six clean sheets and is tied for second with seven wins.
- Robin Fraser started his coaching career as an assistant with RSL in 2007 to 2010, helping the club win MLS Cup in 2009.
- Collen Warner started his career with RSL in 2010. The Denver native played 37 games for the Utah side, earning a career-high five assists in 2011. On Wednesday, Warner made his 10th appearance in Burgundy since joining the Colorado in 2020.
- On July 4, the Rapids retired the No. 25 of club legend Pablo Mastroeni, who captained the Rapids to the 2010 MLS Cup championship and coached them to their best regular season finish in 2016. Mastroeni joined the Real Salt Lake technical staff as an assistant coach in January.
- The Rapids' next clean sheet will be their 200th all-time in MLS.
- Colorado holds the second-best shot conversion rate (exc. blocks) in MLS: 17.65%