Colorado Rapids head coach Robin Fraser was defiant after his team were handed a second straight defeat at the MLS is Back Tournament against Sporting Kansas City on Friday night. For the Rapids, it was an agonizing loss. Sporting KC's winner through Graham Zusi came in injury time after Fraser's side had fought back to level the game at 2-2 despite going down to nine men following red cards for Danny Wilson and Jack Price.
"Frustrations that we sit here with zero points, obviously. But I'm again so impressed and proud of how the team played, and I come out of this with a good feeling," Fraser said in his post-match press conference. "I come out of this feeling more emboldened than ever with the team because you see how good they can be. Up until the point where the red card happened, I really thought we were executing extremely well. And we were putting together really good attacks and defending solidly so at the end of the day. I'm excited to get on to the next thing with this group."
The Rapids will almost certainly need a victory against Minnesota United in their final Group D game next Wednesday (10:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN in Canada) to have a chance of making it through the knockout stage. But Fraser said he would have no challenge picking up any pieces after a second loss at the MLS is Back Tournament, following a 2-0 reversal to Real Salt Lake in their opening game.
"I'm not sure what pieces you're talking about," he said. "I've got a team that would go on and play another game right now so I'm not really worried about picking them up for the third game. I'm worried about containing them for the third game. They're chomping at the bit to go and get after somebody else, they feel like they've been hard done and they want to get on to the next one."
That positivity extended to Fraser's players, including Kellyn Acosta, who had given Colorado the perfect start on Friday with a goal after just six minutes.
"You saw the game versus RSL we lacked that aggressive mind state, that physical play, so I thought from the first minute credit to the boys for going out there and taking the game to Kansas City," he said. "I thought we dominated the game for the most part, obviously going down two men is definitely tough hole to climb out of, but overall I mean I can't be more proud of the effort that everyone put in and the work that we did, throughout this whole week, getting prepared for this game. And we were unlucky in the end."