031013 Rapids and Philadelphia teams emerging
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Ten things to know ahead of Colorado Rapids vs. Philadelphia Union

Ahead of this Saturday’s home contest with Philadelphia Union (7:00 p.m MT - Altitude), here are 10 things that you may, or may not, have known.

1. Zac MacMath is set to face his former club for the first time. During four seasons with Philadelphia Union, having been drafted in 2011, MacMath made 103 regular season appearances for the Eastern Conference side. While with the Union, MacMath became the youngest goalkeeper in MLS history to reach 100 career starts.

2. He was in goal for Philly the last time they appeared at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (pictured right), in the weather-delayed home opener on March 10, 2013. The match, put back a day due to snow, was won by the visitors 2-1, through Amobi Okugo and Jack McInerney. Jamie Smith had netted an equalizer for the Rapids.

3. That victory was Philadelphia’s first win in three visits to Commerce City, where they now hold a 1-1-1 record. It was also the Rapids' first loss in a home opener since 2003.

4. These teams have met on just eight previous occasions. The Rapids’ record stands at 3-1-4, with the only loss being that most recent encounter at DSGP.

5. The two games since have both been in Philadelphia, and both have ended in ties - 3-3 in 2014 and 0-0 in the 2015 season opener. Indeed, that scoreless draw last year was the first time either side had been shutout in meetings between the two teams.

6. Colorado’s only home win over the Union came in Philadelphia’s first season in MLS, 2010. The 4-1 success was also the greatest margin of victory either side has enjoyed.

 

7. Danny Mwanga failed to register a goal in any of his 19 appearances (seven starts) during two seasons in Colorado (2013-14), and yet he is joint-leading scorer (2) for the Union in their games against the Rapids, along with McInerney.

8. Ken Tribbett arrived late to MLS. He failed to get drafted in 2014, and even took to refereeing back home in Centennial, Colorado to remain involved in the game. He spent 2015 with Harrisburg City Islanders of USL, before joining Bethlehem Steel in January. Philly signed him from their USL affiliate at the end of February after he impressed during a preseason trial.

9. The Union’s head coach, Jim Curtin, played alongside Bobby Burling in central defense at Chivas USA during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

10. Their Sporting Director, Earnie Stewart, spent most of his illustrious playing career in the Netherlands. He did spend two seasons at D.C. United (2003 & 2004), managing four goals in 47 appearances. One of those goals came in a 3-1 win in Colorado, on August 11, 2004. The Rapids’ consolation was scored by current assistant coach, John Spencer.

To watch the respective leaders of the Western and Eastern Conference come together this Saturday, click HERE, or call 303-825-GOAL.


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