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May 16, 2023 5:53 pm

Slumping Atlanta United to provide ‘test’ for Rapids

Atlanta United looks to end their three-game losing streak when they host the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday.

Atlanta (5-4-3, 18 points) is coming off its first home loss, a 3-1 setback against Charlotte FC on Saturday. Charlotte scored the game’s first three goals before Juan Jose Purata’s 86th-minute tally prevented the Five Stripes’ from getting shut out for the first time this season.

The three-game slump comes on the heels of a 5-1-3 record to open Atlanta United’s season. Head coach Gonzalo Pineda feels “the levels of intensity are not there” for his club since that earlier success.

“The beginning of the season, I felt that full determination. … We need to come back to that,” Pineda said. “They need to realize that every point at home is very valuable. We need to win at home every time.”

The Rapids (2-4-6, 12 points) are also looking to bounce back from what head coach Robin Fraser described as a “stinker” of a performance in Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to the Philadelphia Union. Connor Ronan gave Colorado a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute, but the Union scored twice in the next 14 minutes.

The loss ended the Rapids’ seven-game (2-0-5) unbeaten streak, which Fraser felt was a better reflection of his team’s potential.

“I think the litmus test has been week in, week out for the last number of weeks, and we’ve shown that we can compete against the best teams in the league,” Fraser said. “I don’t say that to excuse (the loss). …The question is, what’s the response going to be? So if you’re talking about what the test is, the test is Wednesday.”

Atlanta United are 4-1-1 at home this season, and the Rapids are 2-2-3 on the road.

Atlanta United’s back line will be missing defenders Andrew Gutman (red card suspension) and Caleb Wiley (international duty).

Colorado’s Braian Galvan won’t play due to a red card suspension. Keegan Rosenberry (groin), Steven Beitashour (hamstring), and Cole Bassett (hamstring) are all questionable.

–Field Level Media

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