Know Your Opponent: Rapids Prepare for 2020 Playoff Rematch against MNUFC
On Saturday, May 8, the Colorado Rapids will take on Minnesota United FC in a rematch of the first round of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. Here's what you need to know about this weekend's opponent.
Colorado and Minnesota last met in the first round of playoffs last season, with Minnesota earning a 3-0 victory. The win for the Loons started their playoff run, which led them to the Western Conference Final, where they fell to Sporting Kansas City 3-2.
In total, the two sides faced one another three times last year, with two wins for Minnesota and one draw between the clubs. The Rapids are 3-3-2 all-time in MLS against MNUFC, who joined the league in 2017.
Minnesota United FC is creeping up on must-win territory this Saturday. The Loons are the only club in MLS that has yet to earn a single point this season and are currently being outscored 7-1. The Western Conference isn't shaping up to be a walk in the park, either. In the West, the only team without a win is Minnesota, meaning the gap is only to get larger if MNUFC can't find their form.
Key Players to Watch
Emanuel Reynoso was vital to MNUFC's success at the end of 2020, leading the team with one goal and four assists in the final three games of the regular season and earning one goal and seven assists in Minnesota's playoff run. This season, he hasn't made the score sheet yet, but his impact has been palpable. He is tied for third in MLS with nine key passes completed and leads his squad in shots and shots on goal. The Argentine midfielder will likely find his rhythm soon, so the Rapids will need to be on high alert for the Loons' No. 10 on Saturday.
Jan Gregus is MNUFC's other Designated Player and who will also be very dangerous when he finds his groove. Gregus was ranked as one of the league's top five central midfielders in MLS going into the season and has been called "one of the most underrated players in MLS." Watch out for him on the restart, specifically, as he is one that can be lethal off a free kick.
From the Team
Head coach Robin Fraser and defender Auston Trusty discuss how facing the opponent who knocked them out of the playoffs impacts the matchup
Fraser: It's a new season, and we're onto a new set of goals. It's another opportunity for us to get better and hopefully earn three points at home.
Trusty: It's obviously just another 90 minutes, just another game, but, also, there is something else to it. There's a lot of hunger, and losing to them in the playoffs, it hurts, you know. Yeah, it's just another 90 minutes, but there's a little something else to it.
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