Know Your Opponent: FC Cincinnati
This will beÂ only the second time the RapidsÂ have faced FC CincinnatiÂ sinceÂ FCCÂ joined MLSÂ as an expansion sideÂ 2019. The first time these twoÂ clubsÂ met, the Rapids earned a 3-1 victory on their home field at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park, thanks to goals from AndreÂ Shinyashiki, Diego Rubio and NicolásÂ Mezquida.
This match will be the Rapids first against an Eastern Conference opponent sinceÂ Colorado'sÂ HomeÂ Opener last season,Â a thrilling 2-1 win overÂ Orlando City SC in MarchÂ 2020. It will also be Colorado's first time playing atÂ Cincinnati's brand-newÂ TQL Stadium, which opened on May 1.
Both Colorado and Cincinnati are comingÂ offÂ a long international break thatÂ gave the teamsÂ three weeks between MLS matches. FC CincinnatiÂ had a tough start to 2021 prior to the break. FCCÂ is currently ranked last in MLS with four total points and a 1-4-1 (W-L-D) record. All four of their points came on the road this season, as they currently hold a 0-2-0 record as the home side.Â Scoring goals has been an issue for Cincinnati, who has been held scoreless in three of their six total matches this season.Â
FCC's lone victory cameÂ in aÂ 2-1Â winÂ on May 22Â against CF Montreal, which isÂ definitely anÂ impressive result against a team that has been above theÂ playoff lineÂ since the start of the season. The win came in comeback fashion, withÂ an equalizer in the 70thÂ minute and the game-winner in the 86th.Â The victory marked the first time in 37 games that Cincinnati hasÂ fought back for a victory after giving up the first goal.
KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH
Brenner was the big offseason move for Cincinnati, a youngÂ Designated Player joining MLS fromÂ São Paulo FC. He scored 21 goals in 37 games in his last season in Brazil, soÂ expectationsÂ are high for the 21-year-oldÂ BrazilianÂ as he continues to adjust to play in the U.S. He scored in FCC's opening game of the season but has yet to break back onto the scoresheet.
WhileÂ FC CincinnatiÂ doesn't have any players with more than one goal, the source of those goals is clearlyÂ RonaldÂ Matarrita, who has assists on 50Â percentÂ of his team's six goals.Â MatarritaÂ joined FCC this offseason after spending the last five seasons with NYCFC. The left backÂ was called up to the Costa Rican national team during the international break but did not play due to a calf injury. If he returns for the match against the Rapids, he will be one to watch.
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