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

‘Revenge’ motivates Rapids ahead of Rocky Mountain Cup clash

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Three months ago, the Rapids traveled to Salt Lake City to take on their Rocky Mountain Cup rivals in a match that saw goalkeeper Tim Howard get sent off in the twentieth minute for handling the ball outside the box. The defensive struggle that ensued ultimately gave way to three Real Salt Lake goals in the game’s final ten minutes.

This week, the Rapids have a thirst for vengeance against their cross-state competition as the side returns to Salt Lake.

“There was a horrible feeling after the first game because we absolutely controlled the game [before Howard was sent off],” Colorado Manager Anthony Hudson explained to media on Tuesday. He went on to say the first result “has given everyone a lot more focus and energy,” in advance of Saturday’s match.

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