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MINNESOTA UNITED FC vs. COLORADO RAPIDS
Allianz Field | Saint Paul, Minnesota
10.10.21 | MLS Week No. 30 | MLS Game No. 28
3:00 p.m. CT (Bally Sports North+, The CW Twin Cities, MNUFC Radio on SKOR North)

2021 Regular Season Records (W-L-D):
COL: 13-5-9 (6-4-3 on the road)
MIN: 10-9-8 (8-3-2 at home)

Saturday night's game in Frisco was a tight one, featuring a goal reversed by video review, more than 10 shots taken by each team and a questionable red card in the waning minutes for Emanuel Reynoso. Ultimately it was a tale of two goalkeepers, with Tyler Miller and Phelipe making the saves to keep their teams in the game for a scoreless draw. Up next, MNUFC will face the Colorado Rapids at Allianz Field. The Loons and the Rapids have already met twice this year with both games going Colorado's way on their home turf. Homefield advantage goes to Minnesota this time around, though, and they’ll need every bit of it. With multiple players on national team duty, MNUFC will need to lean into this advantage and come prepared if they want to take down the Rapids and earn a vital three points this weekend.

THE OPPOSITION

In their most recent game, the Colorado Rapids lost 3-0 to the Western Conference frontrunners, the Seattle Sounders. The loss ended a 12-game unbeaten streak for the Rapids in dramatic fashion, adding to their struggles when it comes to gaining momentum as of late. Prior to their loss in Jet City, the Rapids found themselves on the exact opposite end of an identical scoreline as they took down the cellar-dwelling Austin FC 3-0. This win was the first in some time for Colorado as they failed to secure more than a point against LA, Portland, Vancouver and Toronto in their last four games prior to their success against Austin. With all of these draws, the Loons and the Rapids are both coming into Saturday's game having earned seven points in their last six games. As such, despite 10 points and four spots between the two teams, the game will likely be a tight competition that will favor the side that comes in wanting it the most.

Head Coach Adrian Heath on preparing for the players not available this weekend…

“Well as I’ve spoke to the players yesterday and today, let’s talk about the players who are here and not the ones who aren’t. There’s nothing we can do about that. We’re fully aware of what was going to happen a few weeks ago when we got the invitation letters from the federations. We knew who was going to be gone. That’s what it is. Next man up. Step up. Come and give us a problem next week because you played that well this weekend.”

Defender Chase Gasper on if Colorado this weekend is the biggest game of the season…

“Potentially. Home games, the expectation is that we do get three points and win, especially against this Colorado team who, this season especially, we feel haven’t gotten the performances or results that we deserve. We’re really looking forward to…and going into the game with the expectation that we’re going to win and get three points. It’s going to be tough one. Missing the guys that we do with national team but we have full confidence in the next two guys that step up that they’re going to fill the position just as well.” MORE.

STORYLINES PRESENTED BY BMW

TURNAROUND, BRIGHT EYES: As evidenced by the results since he’s taken the helm, Colorado Rapids Head Coach Robin Fraser is exactly the kind of coach the team needed at exactly the right time. In 2019, the Rapids were trying to pull off the monumental task of transitioning the franchise out of the Tim Howard era and into whatever came next. Anthony Hudson’s disastrous tenure as head coach (8-26-9) came to an end midway through the season following remarks where he bemoaned the lack of marquee players on the team and the overall poor quality of the roster. Following Conor Casey’s interim tenure, Fraser was brought in from Toronto FC and sparked an immediate three-game win streak and won five of their last seven, narrowly missing the playoffs with a roster not that much different from the one Hudson had whinged about. In 2020, Colorado finished fifth in the Western Conference, only to be brought low by Minnesota United in the Round One at Allianz Field. This year, they’re a top three team in the conference and look pretty comfortable there — certainly more comfortable than the sagging LA Galaxy did. Fraser has molded a roster founded on the steady hand of captain and holding midfielder Jack Price into a fun, exciting side packed with young talent from Cole Bassett to Jonathan Lewis to recent international signing Lucas Esteves. The Rapids will come into this week’s matchup in Saint Paul not only with the goal of solidifying that homefield advantage in Round One this year, but also looking for a bit of payback for their ignominious exit last year at the hands of the Loons. MORE

FIRST TOUCHES

  • The Colorado Rapids are the least fouled team in MLS and by a wide margin. They’ve only suffered 248 fouls on the year, which is 34 fewer than Real Salt Lake in 26th. That’s roughly the same gap from RSL to Minnesota United, who are 21st with 317 fouls suffered. MORE