Sam Vines has left Colorado Rapids to join Royal Antwerp, and Robin Fraser could not be prouder to have helped develop the United States international.
The 22-year-old left-back shined for the USA at the Gold Cup, and after 53 appearances in total for the Rapids, has now left MLS for Belgium.
It presents a blow to Colorado, for whom Vines played eight times this term, but Fraser is delighted for the youngster.
“Sad to see him go, but honestly I’m really excited for him,” Fraser said ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City.
“He’s a player who went away on loan, gained some experience and since I’ve been here he’s continued to get better. I think we all have a sense of pride that we’ve helped shape him and got him to a point where he’s consistently on the national team and doing well not only at his club and internationally as well.
“We’re proud, sad to see him go and really excited for him, I hope he has a great career.”
Colorado had a rest in the week, while Kansas City responded to a shock defeat by FC Dallas by thrashing Los Angeles FC 4-1 to move top of the West on goal difference.
“Over the course of a season, things happen – good things happen and sometimes bad things happen,” coach Peter Vermes said.
“When things are going well, it’s easy to push something away and just say that’s a one-time thing. I don’t see it that way, I think that when some things happen you have to look at them straight in the eye and you have to learn from what occurred.
“If you don’t use those mistakes as lessons to be better than how can you evolve as a team in the correct way? The team has a lot of pride, we had to learn from the game (versus Dallas).”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Colorado Rapids – Andre Shinyashiki
Andre Shinyashiki netted the winner for the Rapids against Austin FC last time out, taking his tally to the season to three. The attacker is one short of his total from last year (four).Sporting Kansas City – Daniel Salloi
Daniel Salloi delivered both a goal and assist against LAFC on Wednesday. It was the third match this season that Salloi has notched both a goal and assist, which is tied for most such games in MLS in 2021 with Nani of Orlando City.
KEY OPTA FACTS
·Colorado has won only one of the last eight matches against Sporting Kansas City (D3 L4) following a run of six wins in seven games from August 2015 to May 2017. Still, Colorado is unbeaten in seven straight home matches against Sporting (W4 D3), though the last three have all ended in draws.
·Colorado has scored in a club-record 32 consecutive home matches, the longest active streak in MLS.
·The run is tied with a Miami Fusion streak from 1998 to 2000 as the fifth-longest in the regular season in league history.
·Sporting Kansas City scored four goals at Los Angeles FC in the club’s 4-1 victory on Wednesday. It was the first time since October of 2018 that the club had scored four or more goals on the road, a span of 35 matches in MLS regular season and playoffs.
·The Rapids are one of two teams (Seattle) that has not conceded a headed goal this season. The last player to score a header against Colorado was Franco Jara for FC Dallas in September 2020.