Austin FC-Rapids Preview

National Sports

Colorado Rapids must get the “finer details” right as they look to push on in the final games of the regular season, so says captain Jack Price.

The Rapids were held to a 0-0 draw by Toronto FC last time out, as they missed the chance to keep within a point of Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders.

However, Price knows that heads cannot drop just because of a run of four draws on the bounce.

“We’re in such a great position in the league and as a club right now but there’s still that disappointment and that feeling of, ‘Look where we could be if we just got these little finer details,'” Price said.

“But I can say we’re in a great place and we just got to keep fighting.”

“We probably weren’t as sharp in the attacking end as we needed to be,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said. “And at the end of the day it became a real dogfight. And credit to them, they did a good job of making it difficult for us. And while we had a few good moments, probably not as many good moments as we would have liked to have had.”

Austin claimed their first win since August 22 in their last outing, defeating LA Galaxy 2-0 thanks in part to Moussa Djitte, who opened his account for the club with the opener.

“Having Moussa is extremely important. We haven’t had a striker since like Week 5, Week 6,” coach Josh Wolff said after the match. “Of course, that’s something that’s been talked about a lot. We’ve utilized Cecilio Dominguez in different ways and Jon Gallagher in different ways, but you can see what it means when you have a real striker who can occupy center backs, who has a physicality, who plays on both sides of the line. It’s very different.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Colorado Rapids – Lucas Esteves

Lucas Esteves was a major attacking outlet for Colorado against Toronto. The wing-back had three attempts and created one chance, completing 92.9 per cent of his passes, though he only got one of his shots on target.

Austin FC – Moussa Dittje

With an out-and-out forward now in the team, Austin will be hoping Dittje ensures they end the regular season on a high as they look to build towards 2022.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– Colorado and Austin have each won away against the other this season, with Austin’s 3-1 win at Colorado on April 24 its first win and goals in team history. The match was just Colorado’s third regular season home loss to an expansion side, also falling at home to the Fire in 1998 and LAFC in 2018.

– Colorado’s scoreless draw with Toronto on Saturday extended its unbeaten run to 11 games (W5 D7) though it was the Rapids’ fourth consecutive draw. Colorado has not been held scoreless in consecutive regular season games in nearly three years, since losses to Seattle and LAFC in September-October 2018.

– Austin ended a five-match losing streak with a 2-0 victory over the Galaxy on Sunday. Austin has followed each of their last four wins with a losing streak of at least three matches.

– After conceding five goals in its first two home matches this season (including three against Austin), Colorado has allowed just six total goals in 11 games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park since, not allowing more than one goal in any of those games.

– Austin has scored in seven of its last eight MLS matches, including scoring multiple goals in four of those games, totalling 14 goals in that time. Austin scored in just six of its first 18 games, scoring multiple goals in three of those, totalling 13 goals in that time.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories