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 Colorado Rapids

Colorado Rapids Take on Nashville SC in 2024 Home Opener

March 1, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Colorado Rapids News Release

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - After opening their regular season on the road last weekend, the Colorado Rapids will host Nashville SC on Saturday, March 2, at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park in their first home game of the year (7:30 p.m. MT; Apple TV - MLS Season Pass, Altitude Sports Radio 950AM).

The Colorado Rapids fell to the Portland Timbers to open the 2024 season on Saturday night, playing to a 4-1 result at Providence Park. Seven Colorado Homegrowns featured in the Rapids' lineup for the match, including Sam Vines, who returned from a stint with Royal Antwerp F.C., Oliver Larraz, whose start marked his first in MLS, and Jackson Travis, who came off the bench in the second half to make his MLS debut. Offseason signings Djordje Mihailovic, Zack Steffen, and Omir Fernandez all made their Rapids debuts in the season-opening matchup.

Colorado enters Saturday's match following a busy offseason that saw several new additions to the club. The appointment of Chris Armas as head coach heralds a new era for the Rapids. Joining him are notable players including goalkeeper Zack Steffen from Manchester City FC in England, midfielder Djordje Mihailovic from Alkmaar Zaanstreek in the Netherlands, and defender Sam Vines from Royal Antwerp FC in Belgium. In addition, the club fortified its squad with the acquisitions of midfielder Omir Fernandez through free agency and Jasper Löffelsend from Real Salt Lake. Building on this foundation, the Rapids bolstered their lineup with three first-round MLS SuperDraft picks: midfielder Wayne Frederick from Duke University, forward Kimani Stewart-Baynes from the University of Maryland, and defender Nate Jones from the University of Washington. Goalkeeper Adam Beaudry joins the squad after signing a Homegrown player contract, further establishing the club's drive-to-youth commitment.

Recently-appointed team captain Keegan Rosenberry will also have the chance to wear the armband at home for the first time in the regular season during Saturday's contest.

Nashville kicked off their MLS season at home at Geodis Park with a 0-0 draw against the New York Red Bulls last Sunday. Just days later, on Wednesday, Nashville SC secured a spot in the Concacaf Champions Cup (CCC) Round of 16 by defeating Dominican side Moca FC 4-0, courtesy of a McKinzie Gaines hattrick and an own goal from Moca FC. Nashville won 7-0 victory on aggregate.

Saturday's match will be just the second time the Rapids face Nashville in club history in the regular season, and third across all competitions. In the last regular season meeting, Colorado suffered a 3-1 defeat to Nashville SC on Saturday, May 28, at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park, snapping the Rapids' 23-game regular season unbeaten run at home. In 2023, Nashville prevailed over the Colorado Rapids. Despite Rapids defender Andrew Gutman scoring his first goal in Burgundy, the Colorado Rapids were unable to complete a comeback as they fell 2-1 to Nashville SC in their opening group stage match of Leagues Cup 2023.

Alongside the 2022 MLS MVP Hany Muhktar, Nashville SC will feature new additions acquired during the offseason. These include defenders Brent Kallman and Julian Gaines, midfielders Amar Sejdić and Isaiah Jones, forward Woobens Pacius, and U.S. international attacking winger Tyler Boyd.

Saturday's match brings an added layer of rivalry, as Nashville is led by former Rapids head coach Gary Smith who won the 2010 MLS Cup with the side. He's joined on the club's technical staff by other familiar faces to long-time Rapids fans: Nashville assistant coach Steve Guppy served as the assistant coach of the Rapids from 2009 to 2012; Nashville assistant coach Kosuke Kimura was drafted by Colorado in the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft, going on to make 117 appearances for the club from 2007 to 2012; Nashville goalkeeper coach Matt Pickens played for Colorado from 2009 to 2014 and currently holds the club records most wins by a goalkeeper (41), most minutes played by a goalkeeper (10,336) and most starts and appearances by a goalkeeper (116).

Following the procession, the club will hold a moment of silence to honor longtime supporter, Joan Dobryznski. Joan was a dedicated Season Ticket Member and Centennial 38 member for over two decades who sadly lost her battle with leukemia in January. Joan will also be remembered by a custom 'Joan 38' jersey placed in her seat throughout the season.

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