Minnesota United ready for visit to resurgent Rapids
Field Level Mediaon
The Colorado Rapids have evolved from the laughingstock of Major League Soccer to a serious threat to win each match.
Colorado (3-9-3, 12 points), which tied the league record by going winless in 11 games to start the season, will try to extend its unbeaten streak to five when it hosts Minnesota United (6-6-3, 21 points) at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., on Saturday.
The turnaround started shortly after coach Anthony Hudson was fired on May 1 with a 0-7-2 mark. Interim coach Conor Casey lost his first two matches for an eight-game losing streak, but the Rapids are 3-0-1 since.
"Guys are in form. They're confident. We're excited to play in front of our fans again," Casey said. "It sets up for us. They (Minnesota) are a good team, and we're aware of that, but we want to focus on our aggression and our legs and make them play.
"We're looking to entertain. We want to score goals and keep the ball out of net."
Minnesota has lost two straight, but coach Adrian Heath feels the Loons deserved better, especially after firing 29 shots (seven on goal) in a 3-2 loss to Philadelphia last Saturday.
"I've been pleased with the level of performance we've put in the past few weeks," he said. "We probably haven't gotten the points in turn that we'd like, but we've played really well, created lots of opportunities, lots of chances."
Colorado has gotten contributions throughout the lineup, as evidenced by substitutes scoring five goals beyond the 70th minute in the past four games.
"There's a belief in the group," Rapids forward Andre Shinyashiki said. "That's the subs, that's the starters. Whoever scores the goals, it doesn't matter or how it happened."
Minnesota wants that same attitude to break a three-game road losing streak.
"We've got to go there with the same belief we did on Saturday," Heath said. "If we do, we're going to have a good opportunity to win the game."