Robin Fraser on Rapids comeback win: "What a team"

Robin Fraser on Rapids comeback win: "What a team"

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Robin Fraser on Rapids comeback win: "What a team"

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The Colorado Rapids were one of four teams to pick up an important three points over the weekend, but the style in which the club earned those points will feel more than just a typical win.

Robin Fraser’s squad fought back from an early deficit at Allianz Field to claim a 3-1 comeback victory over Minnesota United, taking advantage of their match-in-hand. It was the perfect response for the Rapids after seeing their 12-match unbeaten run snapped by the Seattle Sounders on October 3.

Colorado fell down early to Adrian Heath’s side in St. Paul, but grinded its way back to score three goals in the final 20 minutes of the match to start what the club will hope is a new unbeaten run.

“It’s what I’ve enjoyed about this team since I got here, that they don’t quit, they don’t have quit in them,” Fraser said postmatch. “Not just down a goal, down a man – down a goal, down a man to a very, very good team and some really, really good players. Words can’t express how proud I am of this win and how proud I am of the team.”

“I think this team, it shows when it gets down to it at the end of games – a lot of teams lose that game, down a man, down a goal – we scored three goals,” said Cole Bassett, who scored the equalizer from the penalty spot. “Those are the special days. We will always remember these ones. Everybody played a part today and we are happy to pick up three points because of the tight race at the top.”

Colorado has been one of the main shocks during the 2021 season, staying near the top of the Western Conference table and delivering consistent performances throughout most of the regular season. Sunday’s win over Minnesota not only saw the club play without it’s midfield leader in Kellyn Acosta due to international duty, but score all three of their goals with 10 men.

Danny Wilson’s ejection in the 57th minute due to his last man challenge on Loons goalscorer Adrien Hunou put another obstacle in the Rapids path for their comeback. Still, the Rapids got a spark from Michael Barrios off the bench, who won the club’s 73rd minute penalty kick, scored the eventual winning goal in the 83rd minute, and assisted Lucas Estevez’s insurance finish in the 93rd.

All-in-all it was a gusty road win for the Rapids, who moved one point back of second place Sporting KC with six matches to play.

“It’s not even necessarily just going down a man, it’s knowing that we’re down a goal and we need to get points, and if you look at the response of the entire team, the entire group of guys did such a great job,” Fraser said. “Everyone will remember the goals and the fantastic things done by Johnny [Lewis], Michael [Barrios], Cole [Bassett]. Everyone will remember all that. What most people will forget is the very, very difficult work in the trenches in front of the goal between Will [Yarbrough], the defenders, everyone who was really dug in right in our box late in the game.

“When you think about both sides of it, you think about the group that really, really worked hard and defended, you think about the group that was really able to spark some of these really good counter-attacks,” Fraser said. “It just comes back to what I started with: what a team. What a team.”

Fraser and his players will be disappointed in the way they started Sunday’s match, conceding only six minutes in, but the resiliency to fight back and walk away with three points from a fellow playoff contender is a positive sign going forward.

The Rapids will now prepare for a Rocky Mountain Cup clash at Real Salt Lake on October 16 before important home matches against West-leading Seattle and fellow playoff contenders Portland Timbers. Should the Rapids continue playing with the never-say-die attitude they showed in Minnesota on Sunday, they will be a tough out come playoff time.

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