Colorado Rapids Vs Minnesota United: 3 things to watch for – Rapids fighting for survival

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Colorado Rapids, Minnesota United, Ethan Finlay, Mason Toye, Real Salt Lake

Colorado Rapids, Minnesota United, Ethan Finlay, Mason Toye, Real Salt Lake (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The Colorado Rapids face the Minnesota United in Group D of the MLS is Back tournament on Wednesday night. Here are three things to watch for.

Two teams trending in opposite directions face off against one another Wednesday night with Minnesota United looking to win Group D and the Colorado Rapids still searching for their first points of the competition.

The Rapids will try to pick themselves up after a gut-wrenching defeat to Sporting Kansas City. The Loons, meanwhile, are in the midst of a four-game unbeaten run that began pre-pandemic and are tied for the group lead with four points. Colorado will have to gamble at all costs in order to stand even a slim chance of advancing to the Round of 16, but Minnesota have their fate in their hands.

Here are three things to watch for when the two Western Conference rivals meet.

REUNION, FLORIDA – JULY 17: Kellyn Acosta #10 of Colorado Rapids celebrates with Cole Bassett #26 after scoring a goal in the 6′ against Sporting Kansas City during a Group D match as part of the MLS Is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on July 17, 2020 in Reunion, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

3. Can Colorado bounce back from Sporting KC defeat?

This tournament has seen its share of manic games, and you can certainly add the Colorado Rapids’ 3-2 loss to Sporting KC to the mix. The Rapids took the lead through Kellyn Acosta, then lost the lead, before then losing two players and ultimately the contest in the closing stages. They will now have to fare without defender Danny Wilson and midfielder Jack Price.

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That doesn’t explain how topsy-turvy the Rapids have been from the start of the season. Before the pandemic, they were on the up with wins over D.C. United and Orlando City. Since then, Robin Fraser’s men have lost two straight and are all but eliminated from the tournament. In talking to reporters, Fraser has no problem with how his players will respond:

“I’m not worried about picking up [the team] for the third game. I’m worried about containing them for the third game. They are chomping at the bit to go and get after somebody else. They feel like they’ve been hard done, and they want to get onto the next one.”

Win or lose, all is not lost for the Rapids. As it currently stands, including pre-pandemic results they are in the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Of course, they would like to win to secure their place in the knockout stages, but equally as important is to gain regular-season points. How they respond to their recent setbacks, then, will be vital.

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