The 2019 MLS regular season schedule has been released and we are breaking down of the must-see away games of 2019.
5. Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Saturday, June 22 – 8:00 PM
Two newcomers to the Rapids’ attack, Kei Kamara and Nicolás Mezquida, will be eager to show well against their previous team while Zac MacMath will likely be between the sticks for Vancouver. If that’s not enough to get you to tune in, this match will take place off the back a three-week MLS break. The Rapids should be well-rested and prepared to return to the Mile High City with points in hand. If that’s not enough, how about this? The Rapids have played (very) well at BC Place in recent years, capturing a win (in 2018) and two draws (in 2016) while the matches between these two teams in Vancouver over that three-year span have seen an average of 3.5 goals per contest.
4. LAFC – Sunday, October 6 – 2:00 PM
The Rapids cap what hopes to be a bounce-back campaign in downtown LA on MLS Decision Day. Bob Bradley’s LAFC provide plenty of star power and the club has built a tangible home-field advantage in just one season. In the only trip to Banc of California stadium last season, the Rapids played some of their best soccer of 2018 in the first half as they out-possessed and out-classed the home side, but ultimately gave up a pair of goals after halftime. If either of these two teams are battling for playoff position on the final Sunday of the regular season, this one will be as compelling as any football match (American or otherwise) that afternoon.
3. Minnesota United FC – Wednesday, August 14 – 6:00 PM
A trip to brand new Allianz Field in Saint Paul kicks off a four-game road trip in the month of August. Rapids (and MNUFC) fans will remember the late Niki Jackson goal and shoving match that ensued this past October. This season, the teams meet in July in Colorado, but this should be a fun away match in front of a packed house to begin a massive stretch for the Rapids.
2. Atlanta United – Saturday, April 27 – 4:00 PM
The atmosphere, turf and talent have made the away fixture in Atlanta one of the most difficult in all of MLS for visiting teams. The Rapids will make a first-ever trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to cap an early two-game road swing against the Eastern Conference. In 2019, the Five Stripes, may look slightly different than they did in 2018 but nonetheless they enter this campaign as talented and deep as ever following their cup-winning season. New Atlanta head coach Frank de Boer takes over managerial duties and the Rapids will need to slow an attack lead by record-setting goalscorer Josef Martinez.
1. Real Salt Lake – Saturday, August 24 – 8:00 PM
The second, and final, Rocky Mountain Cup clash of 2019 takes place in Utah and features all kinds of storylines for fans to follow. This promises to be a can’t-miss affair in late August and in order for the Rapids to return the trophy to the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains for the first time since 2015, they’ll need to show well inside Rio Tinto Stadium. In Utah last July, the Rapids dominated the majority of a dramatic 2-2 comeback only to fall at home in the third meeting. The last-second goal by Dillon Serna inside Rio Tinto was a stunning result for RSL supporters and should give the returning Rapids, and coach Hudson, confidence to do the same in 2019. Outside of the traditional rivalry headlines, this match comes in the middle of a vital four-match road trip for the Rapids as part of a close to the season that features seven of nine games on the road.