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Homegrowns Continue to Excel, Acosta Hits 50 Matches and Namli Making His Mark

This week, the Rapids are able to take a bit of a breath with a week between games – something that is usually the norm but has become a rarity this season in the midst of the pandemic.

Here are top storylines from last weekend and going into the upcoming match against San Jose on Saturday.

1. Homegrowns are making a major impact

Cole Bassett made his presence known in last Saturday's match when he scored his first goal of the 2020 season in his second start of the year. Bassett, 19, has 130 minutes thus far this season, and it’s clear he is becoming more comfortable and confident with each match.

“I feel like every time Cole plays now, he gets better,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “The thing about him is that he’s really intelligent in the spots that he occupies on the field and the choices that he’s able to make in very limited touches. If he continues to grow at that pace, I think the sky’s going to be the limit for him.”

Defender and fellow Homegrown Sam Vines has become an integral part of the team. Vines is one of two players who has been on the field every minute this season. The 21-year-old leads the team in tackles as well as in pressures applied to an opposing player with the ball; He is also second on the team in successful pressures, meaning he is one of the best on the Rapids at winning the ball within the first five seconds of applying pressure.

Vines is looking to build on the great start to his 2020 where he earned his first start with the US Men’s National Team on February 1 in a friendly against Costa Rica, becoming the first Rapids Homegrown player to ever start for the senior national team.

The continued development of these two young prospects will be a key for the Rapids not only this season, but beyond.

2. Kellyn Acosta hits 50 matches with the club

Saturday marked Acosta’s 50th match since joining the Rapids in 2018. The 25-year-old is becoming quite the veteran in MLS, despite his age. This is his eighth professional season, having played five and a half years with FC Dallas after signing a Homegrown contract with his hometown club.

Since joining the Rapids, Acosta has five goals and five assists in his 4,241 minutes. But Acosta’s impact in those 50 games is something that isn’t best told by the scoresheet. His consistency, work rate and poise in the middle is something that this team relies on when the game is in transition.

But, it does help when he scores goals like this left-footed rockets like this, right?

3. Younes Namli is making his mark

Younes Namli continued to show off his talent Saturday when he took on three SKC defenders before slipping a pass over to Bassett, which led to the Rapids goal.

“He’s an extremely talented player. He’s an extremely slippery player. When he gets into 1v1 situations, he’s really good at eliminating one defender,” Fraser said. “With regard to what he’s been able to give us, it’s certainly been something for us that we’ve been able to find has made us quite dangerous.”

And it’s not just people in the club that are taking note, as he continues to get recognition on the league-wide level.

Namli currently leads the team in passes that led to a shot attempt and in successful dribbles completed - by a large margin. His skills on the ball will continue to be something to watch as this team finds its rhythm.

The Rapids next match will be on Saturday, September 5 at 8:30 pm against the San Jose Earthquakes. Fans can tune in on Altitude Sports or join the Second Screen Experience on ColoradoRapids.com/LIVE.


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