One game changes everything at the MLS is Back Tournament. And the Colorado Rapids are feeling the urgency.
Colorado fell to Real Salt Lake 2-0 in their opening match in Group D play and now face a huge game against Sporting KC on Friday (8 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, TSN). Both clubs are sitting on zero points after one game played, staring uphill at qualification to the knockout round of the tournament.
“You’re definitely going to see more aggression from our side," club captain Jack Price told reporters on a video conference this week. "We need the three points.”
The Rapids' loss to RSL was made all the more disappointing in the way it happened. Both the coaching staff and players acknowledged after the game that the club didn't show enough fight, with Jonathan Lewis going as far as to say it was their worst performance under head coach Robin Fraser.
“We’ve never not been up for the fight and [against RSL] we weren’t," Fraser said. "I know it’ll look different on Friday.”
Added Price: “We waited so long for that moment to be back on the field and we left ourselves down. To not have fight… we pride ourselves on that. We’re disappointed. There’ll definitely be a reaction.”
Fraser noted that the team are generally healthy heading into their second match, though the status of goalkeeper Clint Irwin is in question. That could lead to an MLS debut for former USMNT 'keeper William Yarbrough, who was signed just before the league was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, regardless of which 11 players start the game, Fraser is expecting something different.
"It's more important how we respond," Fraser said. "Friday will be a test in that. I certainly don’t question their character, I never have. I know how much better they are than that and they know that.”