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Preview: Rapids Host Seattle Sounders FC in Chase for Western Conference Top Seed

October 19, 2021 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Colorado Rapids News Release


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. ― The third-place Colorado Rapids (14-6-9, 51 points) will look to punch their ticket to the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs when they host first-place Seattle Sounders FC (17-6-6, 57 points) on Wednesday, October 20. Kickoff is set for 7 PM at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park, with pregame coverage starting on Altitude Sports at 6:30 PM and on Altitude Sports Radio AM 950 at 6:45 PM.

The Rapids would clinch a second playoff berth in two full seasons under head coach Robin Fraser with a win on Wednesday. With five regular season games remaining, the Rapids trail Seattle by six points for the top seed in the Western Conference. Colorado can also extend their home unbeaten streak to 14 games on Wednesday. A win would be the club's 15th of the season, tying a post-shootout era club record set in 2016.

"It's a good opportunity got us to continue to work on the things we need to work on to be as good as we can be at the end of the year," Fraser said after training on Tuesday. "No better opponent than obviously one of the best teams in the league. It gives us an opportunity to continue to work at things and look at certain nuances of how we want to play against different teams. As I said, Seattle is one of the best teams in the league and definitely presents one of the biggest challenges."

This is the third meeting of the season between these teams. On July 4, Michael Barrios scored to equalize in the 58th minute as the Rapids started a four-game unbeaten streak with a 1-1 draw. Then on October 3, Seattle scored three first-half goals before the Rapids were reduced to 10 men for the final half hour as their 12-game unbeaten streak came to an end; Lucas Esteves' red card suspension was later rescinded. Colorado has not lost in its last three matches against Seattle at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park.

Younes Namli scored his first goal of the season in Saturday's 3-1 loss at Real Salt Lake. The goal was Colorado's 10th off a corner kick this season and the 12th from a set piece, tied for second-most in MLS. It was the last match of a three-game road trip.

Barrios leads the team with eight goals; his next score will tie a career high set in 2016. Captain Jack Price is tied for third in MLS with 11 assists and leads the league with seven assists off set pieces this season. Meanwhile, William Yarbrough is tied for third with 11 clean sheets. Colorado leads MLS with 22 players with at least one goal or an assist this season.

This is the second of five matches in 16 days for the Rapids. Colorado hosts fourth-place Portland on Saturday before visiting league-leading New England on Wednesday, October 27. The Rapids then visit Houston on Sunday, Oct. 31, and close out the season on Fan Appreciation Day against LAFC on November 7.

Seattle is coming off a 2-1 loss to Houston Dynamo FC that ended a four-match winning streak. Maxi Urruti and Darwin Quintero scored for Houston before Jimmy Medranda pulled Sounders FC within one. Peruvian star Raúl Ruidíaz leads the club and is tied for second in the league with 16 goals. João Paulo is tied for sixth in MLS with 10 assists.

"It's Seattle. They're the best team in the league," Rapids forward Jonathan Lewis said. "We're one of the top teams in the league. Talented players on both teams. We can't disappoint [our fans]. We have to show them that this is our house. This is a playoff-level game, so we have to show that we're up for the challenge."

Playoff Clinch Scenarios

The Rapids will clinch a berth in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs on Wednesday if:

Colorado Rapids win vs. Seattle Sounders FC

OR

Colorado Rapids tie vs. Seattle Sounders FC AND

Vancouver Whitecaps FC lose or tie vs. Portland Timbers AND

LA Galaxy lose vs. Houston Dynamo FC

OR

Colorado Rapids tie vs. Seattle Sounders FC AND

Vancouver Whitecaps FC lose or tie vs. Portland Timbers AND

Minnesota United FC lose or tie vs. Philadelphia Union

OR

Colorado Rapids tie vs. Seattle Sounders FC AND

LA Galaxy lose vs. Houston Dynamo FC AND

Minnesota United FC lose vs. Philadelphia Union AND

Los Angeles FC lose or tie vs. FC Dallas

OR

Vancouver Whitecaps FC lose or tie vs. Portland Timbers AND

Minnesota United FC lose vs. Philadelphia Union

News & Notes

Jack Price's next assist will be his 12th of the season, setting a new Rapids career high. He would be the first Rapids player with 12 assists in a single year since Omar Cummings in 2009.

Drew Moor's next appearance will be his 200th with the club. He will become the second player to reach 200 appearances with the Rapids.

Keegan Rosenberry's next start will be his 80th with Colorado. It will also be his 81st appearance in Burgundy, surpassing his career total with Philadelphia.

Auston Trusty's next start will be the 90th of his MLS career.

Lalas Abubakar's next appearance will be his 60th with the club.

Kellyn Acosta's next assist will be the 20th of his MLS career.

Michael Barrios' next goal will be his 40th in MLS. His next assist will be his 50th. The Colombian is one of three players in MLS with at least 35 goals and 40 assists since 2015 (Diego Valeri, Sebastian Giovinco).

Mark-Anthony Kaye has played 758 minutes for Colorado this season, exactly the same as for LAFC in as many appearances.


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