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Downstream Game 15: Away against Austin FC

MLS: Austin FC at Colorado Rapids Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Austin FC Stats

2021 Record: 3-7-4 WLT, 13 points for 0.93 PPG

Goals: 10 for, 15 allowed, -5 differential

Power Rankings: Austin #22 (-3), Rapids #10 (-1)

Last Result: 0-1 loss against Seattle

All right, so the Real Salt Lake game really didn’t go to plan. A 3-0 loss on the road, especially against our rivals, is rough. But the Colorado Rapids need to move on and start looking towards the next game. To that end, let’s take a look at our next opponents, the second match against MLS newcomers Austin FC.

Austin had a great game against us earlier this season, getting a 3-1 win over the Burgundy Boys at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. It was hugely disappointing for us to give an expansion team their first win, first goals, and first points in the league; however, since then, we’ve pushed into a spot above the playoffs pretty comfortably. On the other hand, they’ve fallen to the bottom of the Western Conference. It’s a tight group, between San Jose Earthquakes, Vancouver Whitecaps, and Austin, with the Houston Dynamo only a single win ahead of them.

Let’s talk frankly about the RSL game. No, that was not a good result at all. A 3-0 loss is bad at any time, especially against a rival, and extra especially since it was the first game that will count for the Rocky Mountain Cup. But it doesn’t mean that all of a sudden we’re the worst team in the league, or that we need to burn everything to the ground. That is — simply put — an overreaction to that game.

But…

That isn’t to say that it isn’t worrying. Austin beat us earlier this season on an away trip. They have largely struggled since then, and are currently at the very bottom of the western conference. They only have scored multiple goals in a game twice, once against us and once against Portland. Otherwise, they have very much struggled on offense; with only 10 goals, for they are tied for fewest in the league. That being said, they are pretty good on defense, with only 15 goals allowed, the least of any team below the playoff line.

Things are really in flux for us. Sam Vines reportedly is on his way out. Kellyn Acosta and Cole Bassett might be, too. We just signed Mark-Anthony Kaye for a boatload of GAM. Gut instinct is this is not the end of our transfers during the summer window, probably with both at least another player coming in and a player going out. I’m nervous myself about who we’ll be transferring, but I would say this: no team makes a transfer if they don’t think it is worth it. Everyone’s asking if the Rapids overpaid, or if LAFC traded a key player, trying to determine who came out on top. But truth is, both teams agreed to the trade, so those responsible think they both came out on top.

With Canada’s Gold Cup loss last night, Kaye should be joining the team any day now. In the meantime, the Rapids need to bounce back after the thrashing in Utah. Press Austin hard, get a goal or two, and come back with three points and we can put all of last week’s mess behind us. Let’s go get revenge while we’re at it and at least end the series even.