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Preview: Rapids Look to Sweep Season Series against Vancouver Whitecaps FC

May 31, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Colorado Rapids News Release

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - The Colorado Rapids (6-5-4, 22 pts.) are set for a quick turnaround against Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6-5-4, 22 pts.) on Saturday night. Kickoff at BC Place is set for 8:30 p.m. MT (Apple TV-MLS Season Pass, Altitude Sports Radio 950AM).

Colorado will look to end their stretch of three matches in an eight-day span on a positive note in their second matchup of the season against the Whitecaps. Vancouver, on the other hand, has their eyes set on avenging their 1-0 loss earlier this season at DICK's Sporting Goods Park on May 15th.

Forward Rafael Navarro scored the match's lone goal from the penalty spot for his seventh of the season, and Zack Steffen collected his third shutout of his 2024 campaign in the contest. The goalkeeper made a pair of saves to keep the Whitecaps scoreless.

Heading into Saturday, the Rapids are hoping to turn the page on their last match this past Wednesday in Houston. Despite their ability to create a litany of chances in the final third, midfielder Djordje Mihailovic scored Colorado's only goal in its 3-1 loss against the Dynamo. The goal continued the midfielder's impressive run of form, with him now totaling 10 goal contributions in his last 10 matches (four goals, six appearances).

Vancouver will also be playing tomorrow's match on only two days of rest, having beaten Sporting KC, 2-1, on the road at Children's Mercy Park on Wednesday. Forward Ryan Gauld scored both goals for the 'Caps, extending his club lead to seven on the season so far. The win marked Vancouver's first win in MLS play since April 20th when they bested Seattle, 2-1.

These two are entering Saturday's match even on points in the regular season standings, with Vancouver above Colorado based on goal differential. With a positive result in the match, the Rapids will extend their five-match unbeaten streak against Vancouver (2-0-3).

The Whitecaps have cooled off a bit since their hot start to the 2024 MLS regular season that saw them at the top end of the table for a short period of time. The club's win last week was their first in MLS play since April 20th in a 2-0 win over Seattle. Vancouver is also winless at BC Place since a 4-0 win over Toronto FC on April 6th.

The Rapids have the edge in the all-time series with Vancouver in MLS play, posting a 13-10-8 record in their 31 regular-season matchups.

In Saturday's matchup, Rapids and Whitecaps players and staff will reunite on the field. Vancouver midfielder Ralph Priso will face Colorado at BC Place for the first time since joining the Canadian side in March from Colorado. Additionally, Jasper Löffelsend and Whitecaps forward Damir Kreilach, former teammates in Salt Lake from 2022 to 2023, will reunite, having made 19 appearances together. Coach Chris Armas and player Brian White will also reconnect, having spent time together at Red Bulls from 2018 to 2020. Furthermore, White shares a connection with Fernandez, with whom he was teammates at Red Bulls from 2021 to 2022.

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