Yarbrough Stands Tall
Despite a seemingly comfortable result on the scoreboard, the Rapids were forced to defend against FC Dallas much more than a 3-0 win might suggest. Luchi Gonzalez's side caused problems for the home side when in attack and in transition all night, but the visitors had nothing to show for it at the end of 90 minutes. One big reason for the Rapids keeping a clean sheet was goalkeeper William Yarbrough.
Yarbrough’s seventh shutout since joining the club was maybe his best performance – from a shot-stopping perspective – during his tenure. The biggest moment came early in the second half, with the Rapids in front 2-0 in a wide-open contest. FC Dallas’ Franco Jara broke free in a 1-on-1 with Danny Wilson and fired a close-range shot on frame. Yarbrough somehow got his left hand to the shot and deflected it off the crossbar. If Dallas scores in that moment, the momentum shifts in favor of the visitors despite the scoreline. Instead, the Rapids inched closer to three points. Yarbrough finished with six saves, a season high.
“Will's just a really smart goalkeeper. You guys see the saves he makes and things along those lines, but what you don't see is the amount of time he spends working on the game, studying opponents, evaluating himself. He's very thorough and very professional,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “On a night where you needed a goalkeeper to step up, he had an incredibly good night.”
Yarbrough's second massive save came a few moments after the Jara save when he cleared away an effort from Paxton Pomykal who found space at the top of the box and tried to pick out a corner. Yarbrough was screened by defenders, but was still able to make the stop and keep the clean sheet intact.
Give credit to FC Dallas for their gameplan and execution in making the Rapids work, but the home team was up for the task lead by the man between the sticks.
Nine & Seven
The Rapids have scored nine goals in the last three home games - three in each match. Even more impressive than the tally itself is the fact that those nine goals have come from seven different scorers.
- Bassett (2)
That’s called balance. That’s called depth. Goals are coming from everyone and everywhere - set pieces, run of play, counter-attacks, long-range strikes, rebounds, it doesn’t matter.
“Every single guy wants the result, wants the game, wants to play the right way, for the guy beside them,” defender Keegan Rosenberry said. “We’re always going to come, we’re going to show up, and we’re going to work our butts off.”
Critics will say the Rapids don’t have a traditional goalscorer who can carry the side from a statistical perspective, the stats say that twelve goals through seven games are the most in franchise history since 1999.
A Break At The Right Time?
The Rapids head into a two-week international break riding a high. Four wins in five games, collecting 12 points out of a possible 15. The good news – the Rapids have time to get injured players back in the fold – Younes Namli, Lalas Abubakar and Braian Galvan sit at the top of that list. Kellyn Acosta will return from international duty for the two tricky away matches in June too.
“It was huge to get this break with a win,” Yarbrough said. “I know the mindset of every teammate is enjoy these couple days off and get right back to work because we have to continue doing the same things that got us here now.”
Two weeks to rest, recover and get ready for a fast and furious five-month stretch that encompasses the 27 remaining matches. The Rapids currently sit fourth in a stacked Western Conference, and fifth overall in MLS. If we’ve learned anything from the first seven matches in 2021, the depth and adaptability of this Rapids team is a strength and will serve them well through the dog days of summer.