Orlando City will head out west to take on the Colorado Rapids tonight in a mid-week match-up at 9 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Colorado has struggled so far this season, currently sitting in 12th in the Western Conference with 20 points and a 5-8-5 record, but all five of those wins were at home. Let’s take a deep dive into why Colorado has fallen down the order this season and what impact that may have on tonight’s match.
The Rapids have been through some struggles offensively this season, ranking 24th in goals scored (21). However, it has not been for a lack of scoring chances, as Colorado finds itself 11th in total scoring opportunities (234). The main issue for Colorado’s offense has been converting on the high volume of chances it has created this season. In terms of on-target scoring attempts, the Rapids are tied for 22nd in the league (73), which drops them all the way to 24th in MLS in accurate shooting percentage (31.2%). Another problem for Colorado’s offense has come from the lack of support that attacking players have received to create opportunities. The Rapids are tied for 24th in assists (19), and they are 24th in accurate forward zone passes (2,670) this season.
Colorado has found some relative success on the defensive side of the ball this season, which should help take some pressure off the offense. The Rapids sit squarely in the middle of MLS in goals conceded (26), which can be attributed, in large part, to the fact that they are tied for seventh in fewest shots against (74) this season. Another area that the Rapids have been successful has been in one-on-one situations, where they are third best in the league with a duel percentage of 52.8%. However, Colorado has struggled to disrupt the flow of opposing offenses, ranking 22nd in both blocks (234) and interceptions (160), which could lead to opportunities for the opposition if it settles down on offense and controls possession.
Players to Watch
Forward Diego Rubio has been the main offensive contributor for the Rapids so far this season as he leads the club with eight goals. Rubio has been trusted by the team to lead the attacking effort as he is first in both total scoring attempts (47) and on-target scoring attempts (20). However, Rubio has not been the most accurate on the team when given these chances, as he is third among players who have more than 10 total scoring attempts in accurate shooting percentage (42.5%). To help players such as Rubio on the attack, Colorado has relied on the likes of forward Michael Barrios and midfielder Jack Price to generate scoring opportunities. Barrios leads the way for the Rapids with four assists, while Price — who is currently injured — is first in both crosses (22) and accurate forward zone passes (283) respectively.
Rubio has also been a major help for Colorado’s defense, especially at winning one-on-one situations, where he leads the team with 181 duels won this season. Similarly, defender Auston Trusty has been the most efficient in these same situations, leading the team in duel percentage among players who have won more than 100 duels (61.7%). Defender Lalas Abubakar has been the best at disrupting the opposition’s passing game as he leads the Rapids with 29 interceptions. In net this season, the Rapids have relied on goalkeeper William Yarbrough, who has allowed 23 goals on 69 shots against for a save percentage of 66.7%.
That’s what I could find on the Colorado Rapids. Let me know what you think in the comments and, as always, go Orlando!