Preview: Rapids Host Austin FC During 'Noche Latina'
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - The Colorado Rapids (4-15-11, 23 pts) host Austin FC (9-13-8, 35 pts) at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park this Saturday, September 30, during the club's 'Noche Latina' and its fifth match in a span of 15 days. (7:30 p.m. MT; Apple TV - Free, Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM).
Last Wednesday, the Rapids faced Vancouver Whitecaps FC in a rescheduled match after the original contest, initially slated for June 21, was postponed due to inclement weather. After falling into an early 1-0 deficit, Rapids forward Diego Rubio scored his second goal in as many matches just minutes into the second half to level the score. The goal was Rubio's 38th career regular-season goal with Colorado, surpassing former Rapids forward John Spencer for third-most in club history. Homegrown midfielder Cole Bassett then headed home his team-leading fifth goal of the season off a Connor Ronan corner kick in the 67th minute to put his side ahead. With the goal, Bassett has now recorded three goals and an assist in his past four appearances. The Rapids were unable to maintain their advantage, however, as Vancouver found an equalizer off a set piece of their own via Brian White in the 78th minute.
Saturday's matchup will be the second and final time the Rapids and Austin FC face each other this season. The first match, held on March 25 at Q2 Stadium, ended in a 1-1 draw with goals in the bookends of the match. Austin went ahead just five minutes into the game, but Colorado found an 85th-minute equalizer from Kévin Cabral to salvage a point on the road.
Since the League's Cup tournament, Austin FC have not won a regular-season game, going 0-4-3 over a seven-game stretch. Despite the losing record, Austin has scored in every game except for one since May 13, recording at least a goal in 18 of 19 games. The club most recently played the LA Galaxy last Sunday in a 3-3 draw. Austin took the early lead through Alexander Ring and maintained it after both teams exchanged stoppage-time goals. Austin then took a two-goal lead after Emiliano Rigoni scored in the 75th minute, but the team was unable to close out the game, letting in two late-game goals including the game-tying goal in the 94th minute from former Rapids forward Michael Barrios. Midfielder Sebastián Driussi leads the team in goals with 10, followed by former Rapids Gyasi Zardes who has six goals. Austin is T-third in the league for most total assists with 54. Eighteen different players have recorded an assist on the team with defender Jon Gallagher and midfielder Daniel Pereira leading the way with nine and eight assists, respectively. Gallagher is one of two defenders in the league to lead their team in assists (Jaylin Lindsey, Charlotte).
The Rapids and Austin FC have played each other six times since Austin's inaugural season in 2021 and head into Saturday's game with a balanced 2-2-2 record across the series. At home, the Rapids have a 1-2-0 record against the Texas side, having slightly more success on the road instead. In the last matchup at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park, the Rapids fell to Austin 2-3. After building a two-goal lead 22 minutes into the game, Austin managed to equalize before the end of the half and ultimately found the go-head goal in the second half. The Rapids have scored in every matchup at home against Austin and look to continue the trend entering Saturday's match.
On Saturday night, the Rapids will host 'Noche Latina,' a night dedicated to celebrating Colorado's vibrant Hispanic community. As the part of the night's activations, the club has partnered with local artist Juls Mendoza to design posters inspired by the classic Mexican game, Lotería, as the night's giveaway item for fans in attendance. Mendoza will also be conducting a live painting of a large Dia de los Muertos-themed skull that will be displayed at the stadium's Dale's Bar, which will be expanded for a pregame party featuring live music and Latin-American food. Among other activations, the Rapids will be wearing the league's Hispanic Heritage warm-up tops prior to the game, which will be auctioned off to benefit the Latino Leadership Institute. Find more details about the gameday timeline and activations in our Gameday Guide.
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