Thursday, December 2, 2021

Rapids win a playoff spot for the second year in a row by beating Portland Timbers

COMMERCE CITY – The Colorado Rapids made the Audi MLS Cup playoffs for the second time in years, beating the Portland Timbers 2-0 Saturday night.

Dominic Badji and Diego Rubio scored goals when the Rapids ended with three regular season games remaining on the schedule.

“I was really proud of the approach we had tonight,” said head coach Robin Fraser. “As we got closer to the playoffs, we talked about how concentration, discipline becomes more and more important as we end the year and try to win something.”

The Rapids won in the style they know best, beating their opponents.

“We played hard the whole game,” Rubio said. “This is us. This is us, and I am very proud of this group, very proud of this team.”

Robin Fraser was head coach for two full seasons, inheriting a club that was almost at the bottom of the MLS and making the playoffs for both of its full seasons.

“This is why we play, this is why we compete,” said Fraser. That’s why I’m doing this as much as I have – trying to win and trying to get positions to win. “

“I am really proud of this often overlooked group of players, small team, low budget and all that, and I am really proud of how hard and coordinated they worked all year to achieve this. point. I am really very happy for them, because we are not here by chance, we are here because they deserve it. “

Rubio started the game with the first goal, finding Brian Galvan on the flank, who hung Badji right on the head and struck the finish line. It was Badji’s second goal in so many games and now he has scored in both of his two starts for the Rapids this season.

“Dom (Badji) is definitely disappointed that he can’t play anymore,” Fraser said. “And we have so many attacking players that it took some circumstance for him to really have the opportunity. Talk about someone who took the opportunity and took advantage of it. He has had a great last two games and has really shown that he is a really, really important part of this group in the future. “

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In the 65th minute, the Rapids played a role again. Galvan sent another overhang that deflected the blow and found the head of Rubio, who had scored a goal.

This was Rubio’s first goal since 21 August. Over the past few months, he has struggled with injuries and has also retired from the squad every now and then.

“It hasn’t been the best year for me in terms of injury,” Rubio said. “But I will say that I just want to play for this team because I love this group. And if I can help this group win, I will be very proud of myself, and today I was able to score the second goal. “

Galvan has been a big hit on the Rapids’ wing this season. He got his second and third assists of the season with the Rapids as he began to feel more comfortable in his new role.

“As I always say, in some games, each player has to play in different positions,” Galvan said. “We have to get used to it because this is exactly what the team needs.”

William Yarbrough took his 12th clean sheet of the season, second in the MLS after Nashville and first in the Western Conference.

The Rapids are now second in the Western Conference, although Sporting Kansas City have played one less game. They have been able to distance themselves from Portland as they have three games left in the season and have a chance to catch up with the Seattle Sounders, which are three points ahead of them.

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