Colorado Rapids, In-Depth

Earthquakes match a “must-win” for Colorado

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Fresh off a last-minute 2-1 victory over the L.A. Galaxy, the Colorado Rapids find themselves in unfamiliar territory ahead of what striker Jack McBean called a “must-win game” against the San Jose Earthquakes.

For the first time all season, the Rapids have demonstrated progress. Ever since Anthony Hudson oversaw a formation shift to the 4-4-2-Diamond, Colorado has shown glimpses – if brief – of Pádraig Smith’s “attacking soccer” vision for the Burgundy Boys.

The glimpses first came in Salt Lake, where the Rapids exhibited strength and resilience in responding to an early setback by earning a much-deserved draw. While Colorado ultimately failed to garner a result the following week in the District of Columbia, new signing Kellyn Acosta provided a needed spark to what was previously an overrun and uncreative midfield. Then, against the Galaxy, all the pieces came together: the Rapids dominated possession, looked dangerous on the attack, and created consistent chances. The match was perhaps Colorado’s most complete showing of the year.

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Colorado Rapids, Roster Updates

Michael Azira traded to Montreal Impact

The Colorado Rapids have traded midfielder Micheal Azira to the Montreal Impact “in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft,” according to an official announcement made by the club Wednesday afternoon.

The news breaks seven days after the Rapids loaned Azira to USL’s Colorado Springs Switchbacks. The Ugandan native made one appearance for the second division side (started in a 2-0 win against Oklahoma City Energy).

The midfielder never seemed capable of passing Jack Price and Danny Wilson on Colorado’s depth chart at his position. Azira only made five league appearances for the Rapids in the 2018 MLS season, tallying a mere 275 minutes of playing time.

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Colorado Rapids, Transfer Rumors

Source: Rapids interested in Norwegian youth international Sander Svendsen

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The Colorado Rapids are attempting to sign Norwegian youth international striker Sander Svendsen on loan from Hammarby IF, a source close to Svendsen’s agent told Rapids Republic Wednesday morning.

Representatives from Colorado apparently have been in contact with the forward’s agent this week regarding a loan deal that would secure more playing time for Svendsen, who was once heralded as one “of the best young talents in world football.”

Svendsen – supposedly “keen on a move to MLS” – is expected to see less of the field following Hammarby’s successful acquisition of Montenegro International Vladimir Rodic. Fotboll Direkt first reported Monday that Hammarby was seeking to loan Svendsen to a team in MLS if the club was able to sign the Montenegrin attacker.

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Colorado Rapids, Transfer Rumors

Report: Colorado finalizing deal to acquire Edgar Castillo permanently

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The Colorado Rapids are in “advanced talks” to acquire left fullback Edgar Castillo from C.F. Monterrey on a permanent basis, according to a deadline-day report authored by John Rojas at Diario AS. Castillo – who has made twenty-two appearances for the Rapids after joining the club on loan from Los Rayados – would be rewarded with a multi-year contract if the deal is completed.

The news follows a 2-1 victory against the L.A. Galaxy, a game where the Mexican-American assisted the match-winning goal in front of a raucous crowd that included the defender’s agent, Chris Barbosa (Fútbol Marketing Group). Attacking contributions are not uncommon for the fullback, as Castillo has recorded two goals and three assists on the season, despite occupying a primarily-defensive role.

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Colorado Rapids Academy

U14s travel to Ireland seeking fourth straight Galway Cup title

Marcelo Balboa announced Sunday that the Colorado Rapids Development Academy Under-14 squad traveled once again to Galway, Ireland to participate in the annual Galway Cup – an international youth tournament hosted by Salthill Devon F.C.

Colorado’s U14s have been nothing short of dominant in their past experiences at Galway, as the young prospects took home the tournament’s top honors in 2015, 2016, and 2017. In last year’s edition, the Rapids successfully avoided defeat throughout the entire event.

The Rapids will face a variety of academy teams from across the British Isles – including the youth squads of Shrewsbury TownSligo Leitrim, and Leeds United. Additionally, the U14s will test their skills against Chicago Fire’s Academy, the only other American team participating in the tournament.

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Colorado Rapids, Game Recaps

Rapids shock Galaxy in deserved, come-from-behind victory

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A ninetieth minute effort from Sam Nicholson secured Colorado’s first win in over a month as the Rapids fought back from a goal down to defeat the L.A. Galaxy 2-1, shattering the Southern Californians’ nine-game unbeaten streak.

“A thing we’ve had all season that we saw tonight is having to create our own belief,” Manager Anthony Hudson explained after the match. “When we actually back ourselves and play positive and aggressive and most importantly as a team, when we’re like that – we give ourselves belief and that’s what we got tonight.”

Belief was certainly necessary for a Rapids side that controlled the match from the start, but found themselves down a goal midway through the first half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

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Colorado Rapids, Roster Updates

Rapids return international roster slot to Minnesota

The Colorado Rapids announced today that the club has returned their vacant “international roster spot to Minnesota United Football Club for the 2018 season in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money.”

Colorado originally acquired the one-year international slot in the early-season trade that brought Sam Nicholson to the Rapids in exchange for Eric Miller and $50,000 GAM.

The trade certainly indicates that Colorado is not interested in bringing in any more international players during this transfer window. Given that the slot would have returned to Minnesota following the completion of the 2018 season, it makes sense that the Rapids would try to recoup what it spent on securing the slot in the first place.

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