The Colorado Rapids have become regular selections to the MLS Team of the Week, and their five wins in seven is a big reason why.
Michael Barrios and Dominique Badji earned Week 23 MLS honors for their nearly opposite performances in Colorado’s 1-0 win at San Jose on Saturday. Barrios was named to the week’s Best XI for his tireless 88-minute performance during which he hounded the Quakes defenders and played a game-high five key passes. He also put his one shot on target.
Badji, meanwhile, had just four touches in two minutes of action, but he made the most of them. With the score tied in the 89th minute, Jonathan Lewis sprang the counter with a deft pass to Nico Mezquida, who slipped the ball in to a rushing Badji. Just one minute after entering the match in Barrios’ place, Badji slotted home the game-winning goal, sending Colorado home with three points and second place in the West.
Barrios, who was acquired via trade from Dallas in January, has been excellent for Colorado this season. The 30-year-old Colombian winger leads the team with five goals, while his four assists are tied for second. This is his third Team of the Week selection of the season.
Badji is in his second stint with the club after being acquired through trade from Nashville in July. The Senegalese forward started his MLS career with the Rapids in 2015 and scored 24 goals over three and a half seasons before being traded to Dallas in the move that brought Kellyn Acosta to Colorado. His game-winner in San Jose on Saturday was his 25th as a Rapids player, moving him past club legend Marcelo Balboa for sole possession of eighth place on the club’s all-time regular season scoring list.
Barrios and Badji’s selections mark the fifth time in the last six weeks that the Rapids have had at least one player earn Team of the Week honors; Robin Fraser was also named Coach of the Week after Colorado’s six-point trip to Houston and LA in Week 20.
The win was Colorado’s sixth of the season on the road, tying a post-shootout era club record set in 2011. The Rapids are up to second in the Western Conference and third in the Supporters’ Shield standings.
MLS Team of the Week - Week 23:
F – Daryl Dike (ORL), Felipe Mora (POR)
M – Jonathan Menendez (RSL), Eduard Atuesta (LAFC), Hany Mukhtar (NSH), Matt Polster (NE), Michael Barrios (COL)
D – Mamadou Fall (LAFC), Erik Godoy (VAN), Nicolas Figal (MIA)
GK – Brad Knighton (NE)
Bench – Steve Clark (POR), Daniel Lovitz (NSH), Junior Urso (ORL), Ryan Gauld (VAN), Albert Rusnak (RSL), Jesus Ferreira (DAL), Dominque Badji (COL)
Coach – Bob Bradley (LAFC)