Robin Fraser wants his Colorado Rapids players to use Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Cup decider against Real Salt Lake as an opportunity to revive their flagging MLS campaign.
The Rapids have collected just one point from the past 12 on offer, seeing them fall well out of playoffs contention in the Western Conference.
However, Colorado have an opportunity to win a trophy of sorts this weekend – one that Fraser is determined not to let pass them by.
“The opportunity to win the trophy, it’s important to us, it’s important to our fans, and we spoke about it briefly today that it has to be important to everyone involved,” he said.
“It’s certainly a big game. They’re doing well and we’re not doing as well as we’d like to be and there’s no better way to get back on track than to get a good result against RSL.”
Only a victory will do for the Rapids if they are to regain the trophy after the sides played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture.
Real Salt Lake are themselves in need of a pick-me-up after drawing with Columbus Crew and losing to Minnesota United in their past two games.
And with performances going flat, head coach Pablo Mastroeni understands the need to get more players back on the pitch, with new signings also not yet ruled out.
“Over the next month or two we’re gonna have four or five new guys stepping on the field for us,” he said. “That includes getting Damir (Kreilach) back after he’s had some time off.
“We’ll have some new arrivals without making new signings. But we’ve also talked about some possibilities with management.
“I think we’re in a little bit of a holding period, where we wanna see how quickly Bobby (Wood) recovers. If we were to make any kind of changes, it’ll be the icing on the cake.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Real Salt Lake – Jefferson Savarino
Savarino has made a huge impact for RSL since returning to the club from Atletico Mineiro, scoring two goals and assisting the same amount in his five appearances. Indeed, the Venezuela international has been involved in all four of his side’s goals since his first start back on June 18.
Colorado Rapids – Lalas Abubakar
While he is not exactly in the team to score goals, defender Abubakar is very much one to watch this weekend. The 27-year-old was on target in the reverse fixture, which finished in a 1-1 tie, and scored his second goal of the season in last week’s loss to Austin FC.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Real Salt Lake have lost only one of their past 21 home MLS editions of the Rocky Mountain Cup dating back to September 2007 (W15 D5), including winning the last two.
– RSL’s 23 regular-season wins over Colorado since the start of the 2007 season (D11 L10) are the most by any team against another in that time.
– RSL drew their past home match 0-0 against Columbus Crew, just the fourth time RSL have failed to win in their past 17 home matches (W13 D2 L2). RSL have kept a clean sheet in three straight home matches, something they had not done in four straight games at Rio Tinto Stadium since August-September 2010.
– The Rapids have lost three of their past four matches (D1) following defeats to Portland and Austin. The Rapids have not lost three straight MLS matches since an eight-game losing streak in March-May 2019.
– Colorado’s 3-2 defeat to Austin FC last time out after leading 2-0 marked the sixth time in club history that the Rapids have lost a match in which they led by at least two goals, but the first in nearly eight years, since an August 2014 home loss to Los Angeles Galaxy.