06/12/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/12/2019 18:28
Goalkeeper Clint Irwin returns to the Starting XI tonight after playing the full 90 minutes on May 29 against the Philadelphia Union recording five saves. The occasion marked his 120th MLS regular season start. Irwin rejoined the Rapids this season after spending the previous three years with Toronto FC. The goalkeeper has appeared in 122 regular season games over his six-year MLS career, recording 33 shutouts.
Homegrown defender Sebastian Anderson will start at right fullback during his first U.S. Open Cup game. Anderson became the youngest Rapids player to make his MLS debut at 16 years and 262 days old against Atlanta United FC on April 27. He also became the youngest player to sign with the club when he inked his Homegrown contract on April 3. Anderson has made three appearances with the Rapids so far this season.
Defender Lalas Abubakar will anchor the backline today for the Rapids after being named to the MLS Team of the Week (15) for his performance against Minnesota on June 8. The Ghanaian has had a positive impact since joining the club, helping record two clean sheets.
Defender Axel Sjöberg returns to the starting lineup tonight next to Abubakar. Sjöberg is in his fifth season with the Rapids after being selected in the first round (No. 14 overall) of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Sjöberg was named to the MLS Best XI in 2016 after he anchored a defense that conceded a league-low 32 goals and set an MLS record for average goals against per home game of 0.41. This marks the first time that Sjöberg and Abubakar will appear in the lineup together.
Defender Keegan Rosenberry will start at left fullback tonight for the Rapids. The 25-year-old defender is the only Rapids player that has played every minute of the 2019 regular season in MLS action. Before coming to Colorado, Rosenberry spent three seasons with the Philadelphia Union, scoring three goals and dishing out six assists in 80 appearances.
Homegrown midfielder Cole Bassett will move to the holding midfield roll for tonight's contest. Bassett has impressed in his first full professional season in 2019, the 17-year-old has scored one goal and recorded two assists so far in MLS action. Bassett featured in six games in 2018, recording the game-winner in the season finale against FC Dallas.
Danny Wilson returns to the starting lineup tonight and will play in the midfield. He opened his scoring account in MLS on May 11 against Real Salt Lake. Wilson is in his second season with the club, featuring in 23 games in 2018.
Homegrown midfielder Dillon Serna will start on the wing against New Mexico, giving the Rapids attacking threat going forward. This is Serna's seventh season with the club after signing on January 14, 2013. The 25-year-old has scored nine goals throughout the course of his career. Serna became the first Homegrown to reach 100 regular season appearances for the club on April 27 against Atlanta United FC.
Midfielder Johan Blomberg will start on the opposite wing tonight. The Swede is currently in his second season with the Rapids after spending his entire professional career in his home country of Sweden, where he tallied 28 goals and 39 assists for Ängelholms FF, Halmstads BK, and AIK.
Midfielder Nicolás Mezquida will start tonight as an attacking midfielder against New Mexico United. The-27-old Uruguayan scored the game-winner in the 73rd minute against FC Cincinnati (6/1) after subbing on in the 60th minute. The goal was his third this season and second game-winner of the season. Since arriving in MLS in 2014, Mezquida has scored 14 goals and added five assists in just over 5,000 minutes of regular season play.
Forward Diego Rubio will lead the Rapids attack and will wear the captain's armband today as the Burgundy Boys begin their 2019 U.S. Open Cup run. The 25-year-old has two goals on the year, scoring in the 54th minute against his former club, Sporting Kansas City, on March 17 and providing the final goal in Colorado's 3-1 win over FC Cincinnati on June 1. Rubio averaged 0.92 goals per 90 minutes in 2018 which put him behind only Atlanta's Josef Martínez and LA Galaxy's Zlatan Ibrahimović. The Chilean bagged eight goals and six assists in 2018 in just 781 minutes.
On the Bench:
Goalkeeper Andre Rawls will serve as the backup to Clint Irwin tonight. Rawls joined the Rapids in December after spending three seasons with New York City FC. The goalkeeper has spent the majority of the 2019 season on loan with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC making four starts including one clean sheet.
Defender Tommy Smith appears on the gameday roster tonight. The 29-year-old has featured in a total of 10 MLS games in 2019, scoring two goals and adding an assist. He is in his second season with the Rapids.
Defender Kofi Opare will start on the bench tonight for the Rapids. The defender joined Colorado in February after spending five seasons with D.C. United. Since arriving in MLS, he's scored four goals and added one assist in over 6,800 minutes of regular season play.
Homegrown defender Sam Vines features on the gameday roster after playing a full 90 minutes against Minnesota United FC. The 19-year-old has featured in nine MLS games so far in the 2019 season.
Midfielder Sam Nicholson will start on the bench tonight against New Mexico United. Nicholson is in his second season with the Rapids after joining from Minnesota United FC. The winger found the back of the net twice in 19 appearances in 2018.
Midfielder Kellyn Acosta features on the gameday roster for the U.S. Open Cup clash with New Mexico United. So far in 2019, the 23-year-old has recorded one goal and two assists in 16 appearances. Overall, Acosta has 12 goals and 17 assists in his MLS career. The US international joined the Rapids midway through the 2018 season from his hometown club FC Dallas.
Colorado Rapids Injury Report: