2020 MLS Regular Season – Week 6
Colorado Rapids vs Real Salt Lake
DICK'S Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City
August 22 – 7:00 PM MT
STREAMING: MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada
RADIO: Altitude 92.5 FM
Soccer is back in Denver, and, boy, does it feel good.
The Rapids return to play on Saturday in a derby match again Real Salt Lake for the sixth contest of the MLS regular season and the first of the 2020 Rocky Mountain Cup.
The two teams last faced off on July 12 in the MLS is Back Tournament, which saw a 2-0 win for RSL.
“I think if you look at the way the game went last time, what the result was, that’s fuel enough to get our team ready for this,” head coach Robin Fraser said.
Saturday will mark the first game in exactly one month for Colorado. The team last took the pitch on July 22, a 2-2 draw against Minnesota.
“I think it’s going to be huge,” Fraser said. “We all love to play soccer, love to come training, love to come to training games, but the reason we do all of this is to compete and to win, so to have the opportunity to compete and to give ourselves to the opportunity to win… It’s an exciting thing to be back.”
The Rapids have been training in Colorado since July 27, which has given the team plenty of time to learn from a disappointing showing in Orlando.
“Last time against us, [RSL] was extremely sharp from the beginning, and it felt like we weren’t as sharp as they were,” Fraser explained. “As a result, we were on the wrong side of the game, and it was difficult to get it back… The players know what we need to do is come out, and the first thing is be up for the battle, and then go from there.”
The Rapids have had a great deal of success under head coach Robin Fraser on their home turf. Since joining the Rapids nearly a year ago, on August 25, 2019, Fraser has gone undefeated in Colorado, with a 4-0 record and 9-2 scoring advantage.
The home field environment won’t be the same on Saturday without fans in the stands at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, but playing at home will carry other advantages. Opposing teams will have to travel the day of the match in order to comply with the league’s COVID-19 policies. Playing at home will therefore bring less chaos while also giving players a bit more normalcy.
“At the end of the day, we wish the fans were here,” Fraser said. “We know that they’re behind us, we know that they’re supporting us, and it’s something we don’t take lightly. And we want to do well, not only because we love to play and we love to win, but we love to win for the great fans here.”
Currently, Colorado sits seventh in the West with a 2-2-1 record, just above the playoff cutoff. RSL is 1-1-3, sitting in ninth. This means that outside of Rocky Mountain Cup implications and desire for the Rapids to set the record straight after Orlando, this match will also have an impact on the standings with a difference of six points between a win and a loss.
Who else is ready for Saturday night?