The 2021 regular season is just around the corner, and the Rapids schedule has been announced. The team is looking for a second consecutive playoff berth this year and picking up points on the road are a crucial part of that journey. This year's away schedule is filled with a number of exciting matches to follow, including three trips to Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City than ever before, a much-anticipated rematch against Minnesota United FC and much, much more. Here are four things you need to know about the Rapids' 2021 away schedule.
Get Ready for Three Trips to Salt Lake City - May 2, July 24, October 16
While this will be the most matches the Rapids have ever played in Salt Lake in one season, the first time the Rapids travel to Rio Tinto Stadium won't be to take on Real Salt Lake - but Vancouver instead. Four MLS clubs will be sharing their stadiums this year - Montreal and Miami, Toronto and Orlando, Vancouver and Salt Lake, and New York City FC games will be split between Yankee Stadium and Red Bull Arena. The Rapids will travel on May 2 to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC. On July 24 and October 16 they will go up against their Rocky Mountain rival, RSL. In case you forgot, the last time the Rapids played in Utah they earned their first win in Salt Lake's new stadium, a dominant 5-0 win that secured the Rocky Mountain Cup.
First Trip to Cincinnati & Austin - June 19
Eastern Conference road games are a rare occurrence this year due to COVID-19 protocols. The team will only travel for two Eastern Conference matchups, the first of which will be against FC Cincinnati. The trip will mark the first journey to FCC's home field in club history. Cincinnati joined MLS as an expansion team in 2019, and they traveled to DICK'S Sporting Goods Park where the Rapids topped the visitors 3-1. Last year, there were no matches between the two clubs. Cincinnati will open brand-new West End Stadium, in mid-May, which will likely make the Rapids one of the first opponents to check out the new venue. The first trip to Cincinnati and a chance to leave our mark on their new digs? Sign us up!
The Rapids will also visit Austin FC for the first time in 2021. The expansion side is set to open Q2 Stadium in June 2021 and the Rapids will make a trip to the Texas capital on July 31.
Longest Road Stand - July 24, July 31 and August 4
Fortunately for Colorado, the team's longest road trip is only three games long, and there is only one trip of that length on the schedule. The Rapids will be on the road for three-straight games starting with RSL on July 24. Then, they will travel to Austin on July 31 to take on expansion side Austin FC, playing in their brand-new 2 Stadium, which is set to open by June. The Rapids will finish their longest road stretch of the season on August 4 in Minnesota.
A Playoff Rematch Against Minnesota - August 4
We mentioned this above - but a rematch against the team that knocked the Rapids out of the playoffs deserves its own section. The Loons defended their home turf with a 3-0 win in the first round of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs the last time these two teams met. While the result didn't go in our favor, it was Colorado’s first MLS Cup Playoff appearance since 2016, and head coach Robin Fraser became the first Rapids manager to lead his team to the postseason in his first full year in charge since Fernando Clavijo in 2005.
This year, the squad has grown and learned from their last trip to Minnesota and will be seeking three points inside Allianz Field.