It was the most unique of meetings between Rocky Mountain rivals and for the Colorado Rapids, a 2-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake in a Group D opener of the MLS is Back Tournament Sunday night was the worst time to put in their worst performance since Robin Fraser took over as head coach last year.
“This was a wakeup call, this as probably I would say the worst we’ve played since Robin took over, since last year in May,” winger Jonathan Lewis said after the match. “So now it’s time to show everybody what we are. We can’t talk, we just have to do it.”
Lewis said it was clear RSL “were just up for it more,” with the Claret-and-Cobalt taking the game to the Rapids in the first half, taking a deserved 1-0 lead into the break and putting the match away in the 76th minute courtesy of Damir Kreilach.
“I think it comes down to the effort, it comes down to the will to fight,” said Lewis, who played the final 16 minutes off the bench. “For the majority of the game honestly they were just up for it more. It wasn’t a great game from both teams at all, but it just seemed like they wanted it more.”
Fraser chalked it up to four months of rust after back-to-back wins to open the 2020 season. He also believes the performance is a one-off and expects a much more representative effort in what will now be a must-win against Minnesota United Friday (10:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN) in both teams' second match in Group D.
“I don’t think they gave a great account of themselves tonight. I know what this team is like and I know what these players are like,” Fraser said. “And I said just give a good account of yourselves. It’s something they’ve always done. It’s a team that I believe in the character so much and I know that what we’ll see will be a different outlook and a different approach on Friday.”