Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Struggling Rapids face challenge in red-hot FC Cincinnati

Field Level Media
27 May 2023, 09:19 GMT+10

The Colorado Rapids will try to snap a three-match MLS losing streak when they host Supporters' Shield leaders FC Cincinnati on Saturday night.

The Rapids (2-6-6, 12 points) have actually lost four in a row in all competitions following a 1-0 home defeat to Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup round of 16 match on Wednesday night. And it was a second consecutive defeat to their rival following a 3-2 loss at RSL in league play over the weekend.

In MLS matches, Colorado's slide is its longest since an eight-game run back in 2019 that predates current manager Robin Fraser.

"I felt like this was a game for us to right the ship a little bit, find some momentum in the Cup and kind of get back to winning ways even though we aren't in the league, but it wasn't the case tonight," said Colorado fullback Keegan Rosenberry after Wednesday's game. "(The) main sentiment is disappointment, especially in the locker room from just about everybody."

The Rapids have had a range of problems, but the biggest have been injuries and a lack of a reliable scorer. Michael Barrios, Kevin Cabral and Lalas Abubakar are tied for the team lead with two goals, and Abubakar is a defender.

Barrios is questionable for Saturday with a lower-body injury. Last year's scoring leader Diego Rubio (16 goals in 2022) remains out with an upper-body injury.

Cincinnati (9-1-3, 30 points) is still alive in the Open Cup after defeating the New York Red Bulls on penalties following a 1-1 draw on the road on Tuesday night.

The effort expended -- plus the aspect of playing at altitude in a second straight road game -- could lead manager Pat Noonan to make changes to his lineup after what he admitted was a taxing evening.

"I'm beyond proud of this group to come out on top, under the circumstances," Noonan said. "On a night where you could tell the legs weren't there, and we were up against it and just found a way. It was really impressive. And the credit is solely with them."

Among the candidates to be moved to a role off the bench could be Luciano Acosta, who leads the team with five goals and also has two assists. He played 85 minutes in last weekend's 3-2 home win over Columbus, and then all 120 on Tuesday night.

--Field Level Media

Sign up for Denver News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!