If Tuesday’s preseason scrimmage was any indication, Michael Barrios is adjusting quite nicely to his new team.
Barrios joined the Rapids in January via trade from FC Dallas, where he spent all six of his previous MLS seasons. The Colombian quickly established himself as one of the top wingers in MLS, racking up 31 goals and 44 assists with Dallas, and so it was no surprise when he bagged a goal and an assist in his first unofficial minutes with the Rapids.
“Scoring a goal in my first scrimmage with the club, that fills me with confidence to keep working hard, keep improving in a lot of things,” Barrios said. “I keep getting a better understanding with all my teammates, and we keep working day by day to achieve our goals during the season.”
“We’re happy with what the group did [against Portland]. We had the ball, we created chances, we scored, we got the win. We’ll keep working toward what’s ahead. Nothing ends here.”
Barrios opened the scoring with a hard strike to the far post before setting up Kellyn Acosta for a tap-in to seal a
2-0 win in a 45-minute scrimmage against Portland Timbers. His creativity, distribution and finishing were all known qualities, but what’s impressed Rapids head coach Robin Fraser this preseason is Barrios’ work ethic.
“You may think a player of his stature may come in here and have certain attitudes about doing certain things because they’re big players,” Fraser said. “He’s just come in and worked extremely hard to assimilate with the team as quickly as possible.”
In trading for Barrios, the Rapids look to build on a roster of returning players who recorded 96 percent of the team’s minutes in 2020, the most in the league. Barrios adds another weapon to Fraser’s offensive arsenal,
“Robin talked with me and said they were interested in having me here. He said I was a great player,” Barrios said. “With the expectations that the team has after last year, making the playoffs, they wanted a player with my qualities. That motivated me to come here to Colorado.”
“The goal I’ve always had is to have the most goals, have a lot of assists,” he continued. “We want to win trophies with Colorado.”
With the season just under a month away from kickoff, there is still plenty of time until the Rapids will have a chance to achieve their ultimate goal. But from where things stand a little over a week into preseason camp,
“Michael was very good,” Fraser said. “To see him fit in so quickly with the team was really quite nice. We’re excited about where that’s going to go.”