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May 14, 2024 9:21 pm

Rapids, Whitecaps both strive to bounce back from tough losses

rafael navarro

The Colorado Rapids will try to bounce back from a collapse at home when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday night in Commerce City, Colo.

Colorado created the higher quality chances in its 3-2 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, a match in which the Rapids held a two-goal lead.

Rafael Navarro scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season off a corner-kick feed from Djordje Mihailovic, and Omir Fernandez added a goal to make it 2-0 in the 42nd minute.

But Hernan Lopez leveled the match from a set piece deep into first-half stoppage time, and Cristian Espinoza tallied the go-ahead goal in the 66th minute to ruin a chance at a victory that could have taken first-year Colorado coach Chris Armas’ side higher in the Western Conference standings.

“Disappointing,” Armas said. “Maybe we could have jumped to second on the night, but we’ll be back. We quickly get back to work and get ready for another tough one, but especially a good one at home for us to rebound and go after it.”

The Rapids (5-4-3, 18 points) conceded three or more goals at home for the first time under Armas. But they’re still sixth in the West, and with their next victory, they will surpass their win total from the entire 2023 season.

Meanwhile, Vancouver (5-3-3, 18 points) gave one of its poorest showings of the season in a 3-0 setback against Los Angeles FC on Saturday. The result extended the Whitecaps’ winless run to three matches (0-1-2), and they have not scored since the 15th minute of their 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls on April 27.

But Vancouver coach Vanni Sartini was most concerned about the defensive effort after his side allowed LAFC to have seven attempts on target and an abundance of high-quality scoring chances.

“The performance wasn’t good at all,” Sartini said. “I’ve got to be completely honest. All the underlying numbers, they say that it was one of our worst kind of off-the-ball performances.”

Despite the defeat, Vancouver remains one of the league’s best away sides, having won three of five road fixtures so far.

Brian White leads the Whitecaps with five goals.

–Field Level Media

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