It’s been a story of incremental improvement over the last few years for the Rapids, who made the playoffs in 2020. They aim to keep the arrow trending upwards this year.
Colorado returned the overwhelming majority of their core from last season as Robin Fraser enters his second full campaign as the club’s head coach.
- MLS Reg. Season: 5th in Western Conference (28 pts - 1.56 PPG - 8-4-6, +4 GD)
- Audi MLS Cup Playoffs: Eliminated in Round One by Minnesota United, 3-0
Namli’s boxscore numbers didn’t jump off the screen — two goals and three assists in his debut MLS campaign — but the attacker’s game is so much more than raw numbers. He makes the attack tick in possession and opens the game for others to shine.
The US international worked his way back into Gregg Berhalter's squad, largely thanks to his form with the Rapids. He’s a strong compliment in central midfield next to Jack Price.
Abubakar’s loan to Colorado in 2019 stabilized a club that was struggling mightily when he arrived and he’s been a constant on the backline ever since. The center back started 17 of the club’s 18 games last year.
Young Player to Watch
Bassett’s breakout 2020 season put him in the national spotlight, scoring five goals and adding five assists in 14 matches from a box-to-box central midfield role. The indefatigable US youth international is primed for even more minutes in 2021.
- Michael Barrios: Colorado added the longtime Dallas winger via a trade this offseason, giving the club an injection of pace at right wing. His addition gives Fraser more options in an already deep and talented attack.
- Philip Mayaka: Many draft experts expected Mayaka to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick, but he fell to the Rapids. The central midfielder was born in Kenya and came to the United States through the Montverde Academy in Florida.
- N/A: The Rapids really did return the overwhelming majority of their core from 2020, with no major departures.
Projected Starting XI
- Goalkeepers (4): Clint Irwin, Andre Rawls, Abraham Rodriguez, William Yarbrough
- Defenders (11): Lalas Abubakar, Sebastian Anderson, Steven Beitashour, Michael Edwards, Kortne Ford, Jeremy Kelly, Drew Moor, Keegan Rosenberry, Auston Trusty, Sam Vines, Danny Wilson
- Midfielders (10): Kellyn Acosta, Cole Bassett, Braian Galvan, Oliver Larraz, Philip Mayaka, Nicolas Mezquida, Younes Namli, Jack Price, Will Vint, Collen Warner
- Forwards (8): Michael Barrios, Nicolas Benezet, Matt Hundley, Jonathan Lewis, Diego Rubio, Andre Shinyashiki, Yaya Toure, Darren Yapi
Armchair Analyst's Breakdown
- Strength: The Rapids played fun and open and creative and inventive and, for a good chunk of time, winning soccer. They were consistently one of the more entertaining teams in the league, and that was enough to get them into the playoffs… where they promptly got smashed by a Minnesota United side that cut through them like a knife through warm butter.
- Weakness: They got cut through like that because, generally speaking, the Rapids are kind of easy to play against. They don’t really force you to grind — they can outplay you, mind you, but they can’t wear you down and out-tough you. This was the kind of thing we all said about Philly two years ago, for what it’s worth.
- Charles Boehm: 5th in West
- Tom Bogert: 6th in West
- Susannah Collins: 6th in West
- Matthew Doyle: 5th in West
- Sam Jones: 5th in West
- Michael Lahoud: 12th in West
- Joe Lowery: 8th in West
- Jillian Sakovits: 9th in West
- Greg Seltzer: 7th in West
- Steve Zakuani: 7th in West