Tue, 24 Nov 2020

Rapids aim to regain form in crucial match vs. SKC

Field Level Media
24 Oct 2020, 11:55 GMT+10

Sporting Kansas City has found replacements throughout 2020 because of injuries, but manager Peter Vermes doesn't want to call it a rebuild.

"I look at our team every year and we're continuously trying to retool," Vermes said. "You might say it's a play on words. We're not trying to build from not being successful for so many years. We're just adding new tools."

Two points out of first place in the Western Conference, Sporting K.C. (9-6-3, 30 points) will continue their playoff push against the very well-rested Colorado Rapids (5-4-4, 19 points) on Saturday night in Kansas City, Kan.

The Rapids have had seven consecutive matches postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak on the team.

SKC defender Graham Zusi will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2020 MLS season following foot surgery. Fellow defender Matt Besler has been out since late September due to a hamstring injury. Zusi and Besler are tied with 294 appearances, the most in club history.

The latest new piece will be striker Wilson Harris, who signed a contract with the parent club on Wednesday. He has scored 23 goals for Sporting Kansas City II since 2018, becoming the youngest USL Championship player to eclipse 20 career goals.

"He's a consistent goal-scorer," Vermes said of Harris. "He has a great nose for the goal. He reads the game really well when the ball is in or around the box. It's hard to find players like that, let alone within your system."

Colorado's biggest problem recently has been getting anybody on the field. The Rapids haven't played since Sept. 23 because of positive COVID-19 tests. They have played only 13 matches, the fewest in MLS by four. The Rapids had won two straight matches, both via shutout, but that momentum is gone.

"It's definitely challenging and disappointing for the players because to get your mindset that you're going to play a game, only to have it not happen," head coach Robin Fraser said on Tuesday. "Then the same thing happens four days later, and then four days later."

They'll try to regain their form in a crucial road match.

--Field Level Media

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