Preview: Rapids Visit Seattle in Clash for Western Conference SupremacyÃÂ ÃÂ
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. â Two of the top teams in the Western Conference will face off when the Colorado Rapids (13-4-9, 48 points) visit Seattle Sounders FC (15-5-6, 51 points) on Sunday, Oct. 3. Kickoff is set for 8 PM at Lumen Field, with pregame coverage beginning on Altitude Sports at 7:30 PM and on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM at 7:45 PM.
"[Seattle is] a very good team. Obviously they've been first or second all year," Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said on Friday. "They have some very good players. They're playing at home. They have a great crowd there, so they have a lot of things behind them. For us, it's very much about our concentration on our roles and responsibilities. If we continue to play at the tempo that we did in the last game, then we will put ourselves in a good position."
The Rapids enter the match in third place in the Western Conference, three points behind first-place Seattle even on games played. Colorado can move into a tie for first place in the Western Conference on points with a win on Sunday.
On Wednesday against Austin, Jonathan Lewis, Nico Mezquida and Auston Trusty scored to lead the Rapids to a 3-0 win. Lewis' goal was his fifth of the season, tying a career high set in each of his three seasons in Burgundy. Mezquida and Trusty's goals were their first of the season. Captain Jack Price assisted on Lewis and Trusty's goals, upping his season total to 11, which is tied for second-most in MLS. Trusty's goal was Colorado's ninth goal off a corner and its 11th off a set piece this season.
Goalkeeper William Yarbrough made four saves to pick up his 11th clean sheet of the season, which is tied of the most in MLS and sets an individual single-season club record. Yarbrough is fourth in MLS with 82 saves and his 77.14 save percentage is the best in MLS among goalkeepers with at least 10 appearances.
The win over Austin extended Colorado's unbeaten streaks to 12 games, the longest active streak in the league, and 13 straight at home. A Rapids win or draw on Sunday would extend their road unbeaten streak to seven games, setting a new club record.
This is the second meeting of the season between these teams. On July 4, Michael Barrios equalized in the 58th minute as the teams split points in a 1-1 draw. The Rapids are 8-1-8 since the start of July, which is second-best in MLS.
Seattle has won its last two matches, first at Sporting KC on Sept. 26 before a 3-1 win in San Jose on Sept. 29. Raúl Ruidíaz scored twice and Cristian Roldan added another as Sounders FC cruised to a 15th win of the year.
Ruidíaz leads Seattle and is second in MLS with 16 goals this season, while João Paulo leads the club with eight assists. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei has started each of Seattle's last six matches, including two in Leagues Cup.
Sunday's match begins a three-game road trip and is the first of seven in October, tied for the most in a single month in club history. After Sunday, the Rapids will visit Minnesota on Oct. 9 before visiting Real Salt Lake on Oct. 16.
After Sunday's match, Rapids midfielders Kellyn Acosta (United States) and Mark-Anthony Kaye (Canada) will join their respective national teams for upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Rapids 2021 SuperDraft pick Philip Mayaka was also called up to the Kenya national team for the first time.
News & Notes
The Rapids are 8-1-8 since the beginning of July, the second-best record in MLS and the best in the Western Conference since then; their one loss is the fewest in MLS.
Cole Bassett's next start will be the 50th of his MLS career. He will be the second Rapids Academy product to reach the milestone while with the club.
Yarbrough's next win will be his 20th with the club. He will be the seventh goalkeeper in club history to reach the milestone. His next clean sheet will be his 16th with the club, tying Bouna Coundoul for fifth-most in club history.
Dominique Badji has two goals and two assists in seven career matches against Seattle.
Mark-Anthony Kaye has four assists in nine matches against Seattle, his highest total against any MLS opponent.
Andre Shinyashiki has three goals in 250 minutes across four appearances against Seattle, the most he has scored against any MLS opponent. The 24-year-old is currently 73 minutes away from reaching 4,000 in his career.
Drew Moor has three goals in 15 career matches against Seattle. His next appearance will be the 400th of his career.
Cole Bassett's next start will be the 50th of his MLS career. Bassett will become the second Rapids Academy product to reach the milestone with Colorado (Shane O'Neill).
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Major League Soccer Stories from October 2, 2021
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