Major League Soccer

Rapids host FC Cincinnati in battle of last-place teams

mls5RAPIDS (2-9-3) VS. FC CINCINNATI (3-9-2)
8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, DAZN, Star64, FloFC, ALT

Now that the Colorado Rapids are finally on a roll, they are looking to keep their unbeaten streak going when they host FC Cincinnati on Saturday.

After a desultory 0-9-2 start, the Rapids have strung together two wins and draw over their last three games, including a 1-1 road result against the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday.

Colorado was away from home, playing on four days’ rest, and deploying a substitute-heavy starting lineup against the Union due to that short week. Despite it all, the Rapids (2-9-3, 9 points) still emerged with a draw thanks to Jonathan Lewis’ equalizer in the 72nd minute.

“To get that kind of performance from guys that haven’t got a lot of minutes this year really says something about the mentality and where we’re at right now … We want to work every day on getting better and I think that’s shown over the short time, the last three or four weeks. Now the results are matching up with that,” Rapids interim coach Conor Casey said.

The Rapids still have the fewest points of any MLS team this season, though FC Cincinnati (3-9-2, 11 points) sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference after recording just one victory in their last 10 games (1-8-1).

Beyond just a meeting of last-place teams, Saturday also sees the league’s most porous defense — the Rapids have surrendered an MLS-worst 33 goals — against its lowest-scoring offense, as FC Cincinnati have recorded only 11 goals.

Though FC Cincinnati dropped a 2-0 result to the New York Red Bulls last Saturday, the club did generate some attack by outshooting New York by a 12-8 margin.

“Every game now, we create a lot of chances and I think the confidence is coming,” midfielder Roland Lamah said. “We just have to keep working, believe, and I think things are going to change.”

Cincinnati team captain Kendall Waston will miss Saturday’s game due to caution accumulation.

Gerard Nijkamp was hired on Thursday as FC Cincinnati’s new general manager, as the expansion squad continues to build its soccer operations. Nijkamp spent the previous seven years as technical director of Dutch first-division side PEC Zwolle.

–Field Level Media

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