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COLORADO RAPIDS vs. MINNESOTA UNITED FC
Dick's Sporting Goods Park | Commerce City, Colorado
08.06.2022 | MLS Week No. 24 | MLS Game No. 24
8:00 p.m. CT (MLS Live on ESPN+, Bally Sports North EXTRA, The CW - Twin Cities and 1500 ESPN)

Saturday's game was entertaining to say the least. Portland struck just 13 seconds into the game with a goal from Sebastián Blanco. The Loons quickly bounced back only nine minutes later, with an equalizer from Franco Fragapane. Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Luis Amarilla followed suit to put the Loons up 3-1 before the end of the first half, and it looked as if the Loons would topple the Timbers. Unfortunately, Portland scored three in the second half to put them up 4-3 in the 65th minute. However, Amarilla came up big just four minutes later, securing both a brace and a 4-4 draw for the home team. The Loons will now fly out to Colorado with their unbeaten streak at seven straight games. In their first two meetings this season, the Loons have swept the Rapids with 3-1 and 2-1 victories. Last season, the roles were reversed with Colorado winning all three meetings and finishing first in the Western Conference. This season, Colorado has struggled to see the same success as they now sit in 12th place while the Loons are in third. With the two wins Minnesota has already secured this season, the all-time standings between Minnesota and Colorado now sits at 6-2-6. In order for the Loons to secure a clean sweep of the Rapids for 2022, they will need to maintain their momentum up top and lock down defensively to keep the likes of Diego Rubio at bay. MORE

OPPONENT BREAKDOWN - COLORADO RAPIDS

While Colorado put on a show against NYRB, they have done nothing to suggest that this form will continue. If they can find a way to sustain it, then they may be a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the season, but all signs point to their rollercoaster season continuing on. On the other hand, Minnesota United will have a very thin squad on this trip, between injuries and yellow card suspensions. This one is set to be interesting, and possibly season-defining for Colorado. MORE

Adrian Heath on the upcoming match against Colorado…

“We’ll have a little look. Obviously tonight we’ll have a good opportunity to get a good study of them. They’ve changed their shape a little bit of late. They’ve been playing a three for quite a while and now they’ve gone back to a back four again, so that presents other challenges. They’ve got probably an extra man forward then they used to have before, but we know going into Colorado is never easy, you know the altitude, etc. There’s no easy games. If we play well we’ll have a chance to win. If we don’t, it will be difficult.” MORE

Alan Benítez on what he sees his role in this team…

[SPA] “Creo que voy a tener un rol muy importante porque el equipo juega mucho por las bandas, por mi lado, por los dos lados y por eso tengo que estar muy bien preparado físicamente para todos los partidos.”

[ENG] “I think I will have an important role because this team plays with the fullbacks a lot, on my side, on both sides and so I’ll have to be very well prepared physically for each match.” MORE

STORYLINES PRESENTED BY BMW

GOALS, GOALS, GOALS: Much has been written on the pages of this website about the insanity of Minnesota’s 4-4 draw with Portland from the weekend. Among other things, it featured the most combined goals in a Loons game since August 2019, and was the third game in Minnesota’s MLS history to feature eight combined goals, tying the team record. One might think that Colorado would be a reprieve from such craziness; the Rapids had gone the entire season without either scoring or allowing more than three goals in a match, and had not played in a match featuring more than five combined goals…. Until Tuesday. The Rapids went to New York Red Bulls and battled to an even crazier 5-4 road victory, a game which featured five first-half goals and four more within the game’s final 15 minutes plus stoppage time. With both Minnesota and Colorado coming off their most explosive matches of the season, could we see more fireworks on Saturday night? MORE

FIRST TOUCHES

  • Despite Colorado’s low standing in the West, they rank fourth in the West by expected goal difference (xGD) with +4.8, and are one of just six teams in the West positive in that ranking; for comparison, Minnesota has the lowest xGD of any team in a playoff position with -3.6.
  • Colorado has neither scored nor allowed four goals in a single match this season; Minnesota has now done both after last weekend’s 4-4 madness against Portland.
  • Collen Warner was a part of Minnesota’s roster for its inaugural season in MLS in 2017 and stayed with the team through 2018, playing 42 games in total with a goal and an assist.t
  • Kervin Arriaga and Bryan Acosta have played significant time together in midfield for the Honduran national team. MORE