Frustrated by home draw vs. Minnesota, Rapids await Hairston injury update

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – After generating just 11 shots and one goal in their first two matches of 2017, the Colorado Rapids doubled their offensive output in Saturday night’s 2-2 draw against Minnesota United FC. The result was a positive sign for Colorado’s offense, but disappointing for a team which hadn’t conceded two goals in a regular season home match since October 2015.

“We’re disappointed,” said Rapids midfielder Micheal Azira. “We could have done better, we should have defended better, because you can win with two goals.”

The Rapids’ defensive problems were compounded by the absence of center back Axel Sjoberg, who went down with a hamstring injury last week at Red Bull Arena and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

Colorado continued to see injuries and disappointment pile up with the departure of midfielder Marlon Hairston in the 70th minute on Saturday. Hairston was on the receiving end of contact to his right leg following a collision with Minnesota defender Justin Davis, who was issued a red card for the challenge.

Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni was unable to provide specifics regarding the injury postgame, but did say Hairston would undergo X-rays.

Hairston was spotted postgame with a wrap just below the knee, signing autographs and reassuring supporters:

Prior to his exit, Hairston was an offensive catalyst for Colorado, tying the game at 2-2 with a headed effort in the 59th minute.

“He’s done a really good job of threatening behind the back lines of opponents,” Mastroeni said of Hairston’s performance. “Tonight, in particular, he found some spots underneath to win play, and more importantly, he finishes a good chance on goal.”

With just over three weeks until their next match, Colorado will hope to not only recuperate from their injuries, but also look to address the lingering questions with both the attack and defense.

“What I anticipate is a great response,” Mastroeni said. “We have three weeks to really dig in and really challenge ourselves.”

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