Wed, 27 Sep 2023

Slumping Rapids seek more scoring at Orlando City

Field Level Media
10 Jun 2023, 08:55 GMT+10

The Colorado Rapids head east to take on Orlando City SC in an interconference matchup Saturday night.

Colorado (2-8-7, 13 points) sits second from the bottom in the Western Conference after a goalless draw at home against the San Jose Earthquakes on June 3. Goalkeeper Marko Ilic made his first start at home and was part of a rock-solid defensive effort by the Rapids despite playing the majority of the second half down a man.

"His alertness tonight was good," coach Robin Fraser said of Ilic. "The ball that gets played through late in the second half, and he was quick to get to that. I thought he had a solid performance, and it was important for us, certainly, given how the game went."

It was important because Colorado has given up 25 goals this season, third-most in the West. With the offense scoring only 14 goals, second-worst in the conference, it's easy to see why the Rapids sit in 13th place in the West.

Colorado has not had an attacker step up the way Ilic did on Wednesday night. The Rapids have four players tied for the team lead with just two goals apiece.

Darren Yapi will be back with the Rapids after recovering from an injury and will be available to play Saturday. He has yet to find the back of the net in MLS play, but he has already seen 550 minutes this season despite the injury, the most playing time of his career to date.

Orlando (6-4-5, 23 points) sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference after defeating the New York Red Bulls 3-0 on June 3. Facundo Torres paced the Lions with two goals in the second half, including a penalty kick, while Ivan Angulo opened the scoring in the first half and added an assist on Torres' second goal.

"We had a very complete game," coach Oscar Pareja said. "We scored goals and kept their goals at zero. New York is a team that never gave up, and we maintained our discipline, we did not relax."

Torres had only two goals and two assists through the first 13 games, but with his first MLS brace on June 3, he may have found some much-needed confidence to help spur Orlando further up the standings.

--Field Level Media

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