Match Preview: Colorado Rapids 2 Host MNUFC2 at DICK's Sporting Goods Park Following Rapids First Team Match Versus Minnesota United
Rapids 2 (5-9-3, 20 pts) will compete in its second ever doubleheader match at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park as they take on MNUFC2 (7-7-3, 27 pts) for the third time this season. Kickoff is set for 10 p.m. MT and the game will be broadcast on mlsnextpro.com.
"We have played them twice and we have had some tough results against them," said Maclovio Swett, Rapids 2 midfielder. "They are an old, experienced team and as we all know, our team is young and we are just trying to bounce back and get in a playoff spot. We are excited to play them and we are in a wonderful venue at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park. We are all excited for that."
Colorado will return to the pitch this Saturday after a weekend break following the team's midweek MLS NEXT Pro Invitational match versus Wolves U-21. Last Wednesday's game saw Rapids 2 pull out the 2-1 win over the Premier League 2 side in the league's first-ever international competition. First team loans Anthony Markanich and Dantouma "Yaya" Toure were the goal scorers of the match, securing the Rapids its third straight win in two weeks.
A standout in Colorado's last three matches, Toure recorded five goals in the team's three game win streak and continues to lead the team with seven goals total. The striker has recently earned some minutes with the Rapids first team and scored his first-ever MLS goal in the match against the New York Red Bulls on August 2.
The Rapids will now look to extend their win streak to four as they take on their second doubleheader of the season in a late Saturday kickoff against MNUFC2. This will be the team's third meeting with the Minnesota side who has defeated Colorado in its last two meetings on the road. Rapids 2 will likely be seeking revenge at home against the away side as they make a late push for a Western Conference playoff position.
"This is going to be a very demanding and very difficult game against a very worthy opponent who has a lot of weapons, an experienced group, a lot of athleticism and power," said Erik Bushey, Rapids 2 head coach. "They have exposed our weaknesses in the past, so I think it is a really good opportunity for us to show the progress that we have made and the distance we have covered."
Sitting in the middle of the Western Conference table, Minnesota has struggled to make ends meet in the later half of the season. The team is coming off its first win in four matches, beating Timbers2 in a 3-1 win at home.
With only seven matches left in the season, MNUFC2 will join Rapids 2 in their push for a playoff position as the season draws to a close. The visiting team will likely lean on leading goal scorer Aziel Jackson to give them the advantage they need to stifle the Rapids win streak and secure a crucial three points on the weekend.
"We are seeking a show of consistency," said Bushey. "We want to continue to build. In recent times, it has been a proper trajectory as we move forward and we want to keep building along that trajectory without big peaks and valleys. The league is good and the league is difficult, so there is no game where we can for sure say we are going to continue along this trend. We have to earn it every game. That is how I am looking to finish out the season."
To purchase tickets to this weekend's match against MNUFC2, click here. A ticket purchase to the Rapids first team match versus Minnesota United will allow fans free entrance to the Rapids 2 match kicking off at 10 p.m. MT.
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