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Rapids wrap up preseason with one final test on Saturday against Toronto FC

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a friendly, I’m still trying to win,” said Rapids head coach Robin Fraser.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids have been in sunny Southern California since January, preparing for the 2020 MLS season. Today was their 5th friendly this month and the Burgundy Boys lost 2-1 to the LA Galaxy.

After the match, Fraser told the media (he said he also told this to the players): “When we concentrate, we’re a very good team and we don’t, we’re not—and that was it. In the moments today when we did, we put together really, really good opportunities, really good sequences that led to good opportunities. And in the moments when we don’t concentrate, then it’s all a little too random.”

He went on to say that concentration will be a focus moving into the final preseason match on Saturday, but all in all, he’s pleased with how the team has come together and how things have gone over the past month.

In Fraser’s first preseason as a head coach since managing Chivas in 2011-2012, he explained that there were times he second-guessed if he was doing things in the right order or at the right time and admitted that every day is a “learning process.” But when it’s all said and done, “I really think we’re in a good spot,” he said. “Now—I think—we can reference things as opposed to talking about new things. We can get into a game and reference things and players know immediately. So I feel good about the way it’s gone.”

Fraser continued, “it’s been really interesting with this group to pick out one thing that I need to get better at and to stay focused on it—because every game, there are a couple of things that you could say. And I think we’ve identified a few really key things for us, which I’m excited about, because I think they see it as well. And when we do these certain things, I think we do pretty well.”

With their final preseason test on Saturday against Toronto FC, Fraser said that he wanted to play Greg Vanney and his former side. “We played them a couple weeks ago in preseason... I wanted to play them then and then at the end of preseason to use as a measuring stick for us,” Fraser said.

What’s he looking for in particular? “You have to be really sharp in terms of what you’re going to give up, what you’re going to take away, and when you’re going to try to win it. And it’ll be interesting for me to see from the first game, where we had a hard time containing them. In moments we did okay, but we’ve really worked at that and looked at it over the last couple of weeks. And for me, that’s a big one.” Fraser also mentioned consistently attacking, the way the team did against the Chicago Fire last weekend, without losing focus on the defense.

Whether it’s preseason or the regular season, Fraser has the same goal. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a friendly, I’m still trying to win,” he said. “I’m still trying to work on things, so it’s a big test for us this weekend.”