After much speculation, Major League Soccer has announced their plans for the first phase of continuing the 2020 regular season. The first phase includes six regional games to limit travel for the clubs and the Colorado Rapids kick things off on August 22nd at 7 p.m. against rival Real Salt Lake. Per MLS, “teams will take chartered flights or buses, and for the majority of road trips will arrive in the host market on matchday and depart after the match later that evening.”
During the MLS is Back Tournament, the Rapids had an abysmal showing against RSL, losing 2-0. Salt Lake will be coming to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for this game and then they will have second match-up in Utah on September 12th.
Rapids forward Andre Shinyashiki said he doesn’t feel like “we got what we deserved in Orlando, so super excited to get back to playing, especially against some of our biggest rivals.”
The rest of the schedule is:
- Wednesday, August 26th: Away at FC Dallas; 6:30 p.m. MT
- Saturday, August 29th: Home vs. Sporting Kansas City; 7 p.m. MT
- Saturday, September 5th: Away at San Jose Earthquakes; 8:30 p.m. MT
- Wednesday, September 9th: Home vs. Houston Dynamo; 7 p.m. MT
- Saturday, September 12th: Away at Real Salt Lake; 7:30 p.m. MT
Fans will not be allowed initially, but the club is exploring possibilities with local and state governments to safely host fans at some point. A limited number of media members will be able to attend, with restrictions in place.
Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids Executive VP & General Manager said that “We’re excited to get back to action and to have our team playing games at DICK’s Sporting Goods Park once again. Although we will greatly miss having our fans supporting us from the stands, we fully recognize that any scenario involving their attendance must be carefully thought out and prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved above all else. We will continue to work with MLS, national, and local public health authorities to explore the feasibility of safely hosting fans at some point during the season.”
Colorado currently sits in 7th place in the Western Conference with seven points. Playoff plans will be announced at a later date, but the most recent rumor from Sam Stejskal of The Athletic is that eight teams from the Western Conference will qualify.
Colorado Rapids Head Coach Robin Fraser was obviously excited about the announcement. “We’ve got games to play—we’ve got a season!” He continued, “we have competitive games coming up... lots of time training and playing against each other and really looking forward to getting back into it. It’s going to look different with the travel and that sort of thing, but at the end of the day we’re excited to have a schedule.” Fraser said they’ve grown since Orlando and he still feels confident that they have a “really good team.”