Michael Barrios has found a way with the Rapids to not only make an immediate impact, but in a short amount of time become one of the most important players to the team’s success.
The 30-year-old Colombian winger leads the rapids in goals and is second in assists.
“It’s been easy to adjust with my teammates,” Barrios said through a translator. “We always have a consistent lineup in each of our games. (The coach) likes to use me on the counter and with my pace we can do a lot. And defensively I try to help the team a lot ”
The off-season extra rapids has been a perfect fit in the counter-attacking style of play, using his momentum to build up defense and make room for others.
“I completely understand what the technical staff want, and what my teammates want as well,” Barrios said. “It’s made it a lot easier for me to adapt to what they want, thanks to the fact that I have a lot of years in the league. So I know the league, I know the opponents. I think from that The job becomes a lot easier.”
He proved against FC Dallas on Wednesday night that he is much more than a fast bowler and has some finesse in his game. Barrios picked up the ball on the wing, took a few dribbles to the inside and then swung the ball inside the far post from just outside the box.
This gave Rapids a 2–0 lead in the 55th minute and it was the insurance goal they needed to watch the game, score another three points and extend their home unbeaten streak to seven games.
“One thing I really like about this team is that the fight is so good when things aren’t going well,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said. “We persevered and had two really good goals at a crucial and crucial time. And from there we accomplished it quite professionally.
Not only was it one of Barrios’ best goals of the season, but it also came against his former team. He was traded to FC Dallas for the allotment money in the off-season, which made his performance so sweet.
“The truth is yes, I’m very motivated to play against (FC Dallas),” Barrios said. “First of all because I have so many friends there that I left but this is a club that I have loved for a long time. I still have him in my heart and there is always extra motivation to play against him, to score against him. I want them to know the player they let go.”
Barrios is one of three players in the league with at least four goals and four assists. And he now has the Rapids ranked fourth in the Western Conference and third in points earned per game.