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LAFC vs. Colorado Rapids: Three Questions

Catching up on an opponent we haven’t seen in a while.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

LAFC will face the Colorado Rapids for the first time since 2019 on Saturday, at The Banc. Ahead of the clash, how’s the season started for the Rapids? To get a sense I checked in with my friend Abbie Mood of SB Nation’s Rapids site Burgundy Wave. Many thanks to Abbie for taking the time to answer my questions!

Angels on Parade asks Burgundy Wave:

1. Let’s start with an easy one: How are things going so far this season for the Rapids? Does this team look like it’s making a step up this season or too soon to tell?

After getting smoked at home against Austin FC, fans were getting a little worried that the Rapids were falling into the same trap as previous years: completely losing focus and falling apart after the opposing team scored. Then, they went on to win three in a row, including an incredible comeback at home against Minnesota United. It’s still pretty early in the season to say things are going to go well, but we’ve seen tons of improvement since Robin Fraser took over in August 2019, so it seems like things are continuing to trend upwards.

2. The Rapids haven’t added that many players (aside from Homegrowns) in the offseason, former FC Dallas man Michael Barrios the headliner. How’s he doing in the new digs so far, and is this the group that will carry the club this season? Or will Colorado continue shopping for players?

Barrios is super fast and delivers some great balls into the box, which is what you want to see a winger do. He could have a couple of goals by now, but struggles a bit with finishing. That being said, he’s an assist guy and had two in the last game. If he racks up double-digit assists for the season as he has in the past, no one is going to complain.

I could see the Rapids adding another piece or two in the summer, but I haven’t heard of anything specifically. I think this is definitely a roster that could take them into the post-season if everyone stays healthy.

3. Speaking of the Homegrowns/youngsters, who among that group has impressed you to start the season?

For the most part, the HGs that have gotten playing time are the guys we’ve seen consistently already: Sam Vines and Cole Bassett. They’re both highly motivated, hard workers, and super talented players. Ollie Larraz made his MLS debut last weekend and, while he only got to play a few minutes, seemed composed and played a great ball to Nicolas Mezquida for a shot.

You can find my answers to Abbie’s questions over at Burgundy Wave.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.