COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – There’s just something about the Rose City that the Colorado Rapids can’t quite get past.
In Colorado’s last three trips to Providence Park dating back over the last two seasons, the Rapids are 0-3-0. The Mile High Club has failed to record a positive result since the Rapids and Portland Timbers met in Portland for the first time back in June of 2011, when the Rapids prevailed 1-0 on the back of an extra-time goal from defender Drew Moor.
Not only have Colorado failed to achieve a result over that time span, the Rapids haven’t even scored a single goal in Portland in over three years, losing by a combined 5-0 scoreline in their last three trips to Oregon.
But here’s the silver lining: A year ago almost to the day, the Rapids recorded their first-ever positive result at CenturyLink Field, earning a 1-1 draw at Seattle, helping propel them to a big second-half run that ended with a trip to the postseason.
Could a similarly uplifting result be on the horizon for Friday night’s latest trip to the Rose City (11 pm ET, NBCSN, live stream on NBCSports.com)?
The Rapids certainly hope so.
“It’s a big test,” Moor told MLSsoccer.com this week about Friday’s match. “We’ve got to go in with confidence and we’ve got to go in and do everything we can to get three points. It’s never an easy place to play, turf, it’s a small field, it’s a good atmosphere.
“Litmus test, maybe, but three points on the table that we want to go get.”
The Rapids will be without a huge chunk of their midfield as Vicente Sanchez and Nick LaBrocca are suspended, and Jose Mari is out with an ankle sprain as well. Defender Shane O’Neill will also be forced to miss out due to suspension.
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Regardless, head coach Pablo Mastroeni thinks his squad, following a gutty, come-from-behind 3-3 draw at Philadelphia last Saturday, has what it takes to get another big result on Friday night.
“I think with a new philosophy and a new mentality, I think you’re still trying to find who you are,” Mastroeni said of Friday’s match.
“I don’t look at this game like it’s a tipping point in the season. I look at it like it’s one more game to better define who we are, and more importantly, who we want to be.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.