Rapids look to make their home a fortress vs. Orlando City
Burgundy Boys look to stay perfect in MLS against Orlando City SC
It took Colorado Rapids 12 matches last season to earn as many points as they already have this year in one match. They started last season with an 11-match winless streak before finally securing their first victory against Los Angeles Galaxy. Near the end of the ’19 season, the appointment of head coach Robin Fraser transformed them into an exciting MLS side. They continued that excitement into 2020’s MLS season opener with a late stunner against DC United last weekend. Fraser’s squad carries that momentum over into their home opener against Orlando City at Dick’s Sporting Good Park tonight.
Colorado has yet to defeat Orlando in league play over five matches, losing their last three straight encounters against the Lions. Their best league outing was a 0-0 draw during the historic 2016 season. During that campaign, Rapids went undefeated at home only allowing seven goals with an MLS record 0.41 goals-against average. The Dick was a fortress that year with many scrappy 1-0 and 0-0 results along the way to a 15-game unbeaten streak and 2nd place finish in the West.
Colorado’s best performance was against the USL version of Orlando City during a 5-2 thumping in the US Open Cup complete with a Deshorn Brown hat trick at home. Orlando City has come a long way since their USL days, but they are off to a slow start to the 2020 MLS season. They opened their season at home dropping points against Real Salt Lake in a disappointing 0-0 draw. Orlando struggled on the road last season only winning 3 of 17 away games. They will certainly have their work cut out for them as they visit a reinvigorated DSGP.
Recapping last week’s result: Rubio assists on Lewis’ stoppage-time winner vs. DCU
On Major League Soccer’s opening weekend, Colorado vs. DC was one of the more exciting matches. DC United’s Russell Canouse connected with a corner from midfielder Julian Gressel to open the scoring with a 60’ minute goal. Canouse found himself isolated and leaping at the corner of the six-yard box. He sent a powerful header to ground and bouncing into goal, catching Rapids keeper Clint Irwin unprepared.
Seven minutes was all it took before Rapids responded with a thunderous header of their own. Another classic ball in from Captain Jack Price connected with Kei Kamara for another trademark header bringing the Rapids level at 1-1.
The match-winning sequence for Colorado began with Rubio’s skillful dribble into three defenders. Rubio initiated the one-two with Kellyn Acosta. Acosta delivered it through with a sneaky heel chip. United’s Russell Canouse tracked the ball well but cleared it to the feet of Nicolas Mezquida. Mezquida attempted a shot off the volley that collided into Lewis for a dangerous deflection back in front of goal.
United’s backline was caught out of position by the deflection that fell into open space. Rubio and United defender Frederic Brillant collided as they challenged for the ball. Rubio’s boot looked as if it may have found the tap while he was going to ground. The ball finally sailed towards the fortunate right foot of Lewis. He calmly fired the match-winning shot off the volley past United keeper Bill Hamid.
Both sides could have been content with a well-deserved draw. However, Coach Fraser utilized his offensive substitutions wisely and stoked his team to pursue the finish. This hard-fought victory surely sets the tone going into today’s home opener against Orlando City.
How to watch Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City SC
Stream the match live on ESPN+ today, March 7th, at 7 PM MT
You are highly encouraged to purchase single game or season ticket options in supporter’s sections 117,116 or 108 that are available through independent supporters group Centennial 38. Tickets throughout the rest of The Dick are available at Altitude.
C38 Tailgate starts 3 hours before kick-off and for $10 you can enjoy food and local beer.