The Colorado Rapids host Comunicaciones F.C. on Wednesday in the second leg of their Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 matchup; the Guatemalan side leads 1-0 on aggregate after last week’s game.
The game kicks off at 6:15 p.m. M.T. and will be broadcasted on FS2 and TUDN. It is not on Altitude or Altitude Radio.
It’ll be the Rapids first game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park since Thanksgiving. It will be a nice, albeit cold opportunity for C38 and the Burgundy Faithful to see the club before MLS play starts on Saturday and Colorado’s home league opener a week later.
According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, Commerce City should be around 12 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of the ref’s first whistle. More importantly, wind chill temperatures will be approximately 1 degrees at game’s start and negative 1 degrees at the final whistle.
The wind chill is interesting because USA Soccer bases its cold-weather guidelines on it.
Now the game is probably going to happen, not matter what at this point, as the forecast has been well known since before the teams left Latin America. In fact, the USMNT played through extreme conditions in Minnesota earlier this month.
As much as an inch of snow could also fall during the contest, making the polar environment total.
Colorado hopes to rebound from a 1-0 deficit in the first leg against Comunicaciones in Guatemala. The match had few scoring chances until a Karel Espino deflected ball from a distance found the net in the 89th minute.
Bryan Acosta and Max Alves made their competitive debuts for the Rapids, both coming on as second-half substitutes. How Robin Fraser plays his lineup card will be another sight to watch.
“The response has been exactly what we expected, we were disappointed to come home with nothing,” Fraser said. “We need to execute well.”
The result in Guatemala means the Rapids must win by multiple goals on Wednesday to advance to the Quarterfinals; a 1-0 win would take the game directly into penalty kicks, while any goals scored by the visitors would require the Rapids to win by a margin of two or more goals due to the away goals rule.
“We didn’t play very well; not many guys were sharp,” Fraser said. “Our decision-making and execution weren’t as good as normal. That’s the starting point for this game, being sharper.”
Keegan Rosenberry said on the weather, “we’re excited about the challenge and the advantage it can pose for us. Our guys are ready to brave the cold. We were sharp in training today. Bring it.”
“This is not any football weather anyone wants to be a part of,” Fraser said. “But it is what is and we need a result.”
The Rapids get to ditch the cold weather for SoCal this weekend, while we’ll be stuck in the freeze for a few more days. The forecast is already looking warmer next week for the MLS home opener.