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 Colorado Rapids

Rapids Travel to Providence Park to Open 2024 Campaign Against Portland Timbers

February 22, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Colorado Rapids News Release

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -For the fifth-consecutive year, the Colorado Rapids will kick off their MLS season on the road as they face the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Saturday, Feb. 24 (8:30 p.m. MT; Apple TV - MLS Season Pass, Altitude Sports Radio 950AM).

Colorado enters Saturday's match following a busy offseason that saw several new additions to the club. The appointment of Chris Armas as head coach heralds a new era for the Rapids. Joining him are notable players including goalkeeper Zack Steffen from Manchester City FC in England, midfielder Djordje Mihailovic from Alkmaar Zaanstreek in the Netherlands, and defender Sam Vines from Royal Antwerp FC in Belgium. In addition, the club fortified its squad with the acquisitions of midfielder Omir Fernandez through free agency and Jasper Löffelsend from Real Salt Lake. Building on this foundation, the Rapids bolstered their lineup with three first-round MLS SuperDraft picks: midfielder Wayne Frederick from Duke University, forward Kimani Stewart-Baynes from the University of Maryland, and defender Nate Jones from the University of Washington. Goalkeeper Adam Beaudry joins the squad after signing a Homegrown player contract, further establishing the club's drive-to-youth commitment.

Newly-appointed team captain Keegan Rosenberry will also have the chance to wear the armband for the first time in the regular season during Saturday's contest.

Portland prevailed over Colorado in their season series in 2023, with the two clubs playing to a 0-0 draw in Colorado in July, followed by the Rapids falling 3-2 on the road against Portland in September. Brazilian midfielder Evander led the Timbers in goals with nine in 2023, while midfielder Santiago Moreno, who recently signed an extension, led them in assists, delivering nine. They will be without defender Claudio Bravo and midfielder Marvin Loría, who both underwent successful knee surgeries earlier this year.

The Timbers' offseason saw the appointment of Phil Neville as their new head coach with Dave van den Bergh and Shannon Murray joining as assistant coaches. They added goalkeepers Maxime Crépeau, James Pantemis, and Trey Muse, along with defender Kamal Miller. Additionally, Portland signed Homegrown defender Sawyer Jura.

The match showcases numerous club connections. Portland Timbers defender Eric Miller previously logged 4,700 minutes with the Rapids from 2016-18. Rapids midfielder Djordje Mihailovic and Timbers defender Kamal Miller shared the field in 58 matches while teammates at Montréal from 2021-22. In addition, Rapids defender Moïse Bombito, along with Timbers defenders Miller and Zac McGraw, represented Canada together in the 2023 Gold Cup, reaching the quarterfinals. Timbers goalkeeper Trey Muse and Rapids Homegrown midfielder Oliver Larraz were teammates at San Diego Loyal SC of the USL Championship. Lastly, Timbers midfielder Eryk Williamson and Rapids defender Sam Vines contributed to the US Gold Cup victory in 2021 and represented the US U23s in 2019.

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