Rapids-FC Cincinnati Preview
Colorado Rapids head coach Robin Fraser expects FC Cincinnati's results to soon pick up following a poor start to the campaign.
The Orange and Blue have lost four and won just one of their opening six matches ahead of Saturday's visit of Colorado to TQL Stadium – the third game to be held at their new home.
Cincinnati showed slight signs of improvement with a 2-1 win at CF Montreal last month and Jaap Stam has had three weeks to drill his players in training.
With both sides returning from the international break, Fraser is not expecting an easy test this weekend.
"In spite of Cincinnati's record so far, they have a very good team with good players," he said. "We know they can break through at any time. We've been working hard in the last few weeks to get ourselves ready for it. Regardless of how things have gone, things will click at some point.
"They have a number of very good players. They have individual players who can hurt you at any time, and once they work well together, they'll be a very good side."
The Rapids have won four of their last five games to move up to fourth in the Western Conference, whereas Cincinnati fell 1-0 to the New England Revolution last time out. However, Stam is pleased with what he has seen from his players in training since that most recent game three weeks ago.
"It's about time we're playing a game again because it's the best way to measure where you're are after changing things in training," he said. "Have we made any progress? Have we taken the next step going forward? The guys have been working hard over the last few weeks. But we're happy with what we've been doing."
Saturday's match will be the first time that a full capacity crowd is allowed into TQL Stadium, with around 26,000 expected to be in attendance.
FC Cincinnati - Ronald Matarrita
Cincinnati has scored six goals in six games to begin its 2021 MLS campaign, each of those being netted by different players. Matarrita has assisted three of them from the left flank, which is tied for the third-most in MLS. Having played every minute so far this term, he will be the first name on the team-sheet.
Colorado Rapids - Michael Barrios
Barrios has been involved in four goals in his last three MLS appearances, scoring twice and assisting two more. That includes goals in back-to-back games against Los Angeles FC and FC Dallas. It is the fourth time that the 30-year-old has scored in successive MLS games, though never before has he found the net in three straight games in the competition.
- This will be the Rapids' first visit to Cincinnati in MLS play. Colorado beat FC Cincinnati 3-1 in the first meeting between the sides in June 2019. Diego Rubio had a goal and an assist in the win.
- FC Cincinnati has lost five straight home matches, including its first two at TQL Stadium. The only longer home losing streak since the club joined MLS in 2019 was also by Cincinnati, a seven-game streak in 2019.
- Colorado has collected 13 points through its first seven matches this season (W4 D1 L2), equaling the best seven-game start in club history (also in 2002 and 2016). The Rapids have had 16 points through eight matches only once in their MLS history, doing so in 2016 (W5 D1 L2).
- FC Cincinnati has faced an MLS-high 20.5 shots per match this season. In total, Cincinnati has faced 59 more shots than it has attempted (64 attempted, 123 faced), tied with Austin FC for the largest negative differential in MLS.
Updated June 18, 2021