The Houston Dynamo look to build off their first win as they host to the Colorado Rapids at PNC Stadium Saturday night. To help us get some insight on Saturday’s opponent we spoke to Jake Shapiro of Burgundy Wave.
Dynamo Theory (DT): The Rapids made what some would consider a surprising run to the #1 seed in the western conference last season. What has made this team so successful while flying under the radar of so many people?
Burgundy Wave (BW): The Rapids have been one of the league’s best teams since Robin Fraser took over. I don’t think anyone in Colorado was surprised they were hosting a playoff game but yeah it was a wild road to the top. Fraser has such clear ideas and his scheme has been adaptable to whatever lineups come up. The Rapids strengths have been solid goalkeeping, strong play in the midfield and the best set piece game in MLS. It hasn’t been just one player but a committee of good, solid players.
DT: Colorado currently have no designated players in a league that seems to be flush with them. Can the Rapids continue to contend without a big name DP (or 3) and what are the feelings around the fan base without having any DPs on the roster.
BW: This is the question we keep asking. No DP, no striker, just vibes? Will it work. Who knows! But seriously, fans are pissed and they ought to be. The organization said they’d go out and add a player of some regard. That add would put the Rapids over the top and thrust them into a deep postseason run. But the lack of a true striker continues to pop up in big games when the club doesn’t have “that guy” to go out and get you a goal. They’ve been bounced from two straight playoff matches via clean sheet and only scored one goal in CCL and it was when they were up a man for 80 minutes.
DT: The Rapids are coming off back to back shutout wins. What has made their defense so good in recent weeks and what are some weaknesses that can be exploited (like in match day 1)?
BW: The Rapids are already struggling with some injuries on their back line. Danny Wilson could be back and that’d be huge. Auston Trusty is headed to Arsenal, and super talented. And they have a bunch of steady veterans. The real reason for the success is William Yarbrough. The Mexican-American keeper has been the club’s best player thus far.
We want to thank Jake and Burgundy Wave for giving us some information about the Colorado Rapids. Best of luck this weekend!