Whitecaps FC-Rapids Preview
Colorado Rapids winger Michael Barrios wants his side to fight for top spot as they prepare to host Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Rapids are flying high in third place in the Western Conference, losing just once in their last 14 matches.
However, they have stuttered slightly, drawing their last two games to extend their unbeaten run to nine and they have not gone three consecutive games without a win in 2021.
And Barrios wants his team to keep in the chase as they sit three points behind first-place Sporting Kansas City, having played two games fewer.
"Despite the last two games where we were winning and they tie it at the end, the team is very motivated," Barrios said. "We are motivated to keep fighting for first place.
"These three games that we have at home will be a big opportunity to try to get into first place, which is what we've been chasing for a while.
"It won't be easy, but with the soccer that we're playing, we will do it. We know we get some players back so we will have the opportunity to play with them again. The most important thing is that each person gives their all for the team to reach its goals."
The Whitecaps are currently ninth and four points away from a playoff spot, though their 10-match unbeaten run ended at the hands of Portland Timbers last time out.
The Canadian side, however, have won only one of their 11 away games this campaign but interim head coach Vanni Sartini fancies his chances.
"It's a team [Colorado Rapids] that … I would say, it can seem even sleepy sometimes," Sartini said.
"They're very good at varying the intensity during the game. They're low intensity … and then they play these five to 10 minutes at a really high intensity change of pace, and that's going to destabilize the other team a lot of times."
Colorado Rapids – Michael Barrios
Michael Barrios has scored in consecutive games for the second time in 2021, with Cole Bassett the only team-mate to have scored in consecutive games.
Vancouver Whitecaps – Cristian Dajome
Cristian Dajome leads Vancouver charts with eight goals and four assists
- The Whitecaps have not lost any of their last four away matches against the Rapids (W3 D1), including winning each of their last two visits. The Whitecaps avoided defeat just once in their first eight matches in Colorado, a 1-0 win in July 2012.
- After its 2-2 draw on Wednesday against Portland, the Rapids are unbeaten in its last nine matches (W5 D4 L0). Only one regular season unbeaten streak in team history is longer than Colorado's current run-of-form with the club having a 15-match unbeaten run in 2016.
- Vancouver plays its first away match in a month after winning 2-1 at Austin on August 18. That win ended a 15-match winless run on the road for the Whitecaps (D6 L9) dating back to September 2020. The last five matches of that run were draws, meaning Vancouver is unbeaten in six straight on the road, the longest such streak in the club's MLS history.
- Michael Barrios has scored in consecutive games with goals in Colorado's draws with the Galaxy and the Timbers. It is the second time in 2021 that Barrios has scored in consecutive games with only other Rapids player having scored in consecutive games this season (Cole Bassett in May).
- The Whitecaps have allowed just six goals in their last seven matches, not allowing more than one in any match in that time. The seven straight games holding opponents under two goals is the longest run in the club's MLS history.
Updated September 18, 2021