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Rapids see improvement, but eager for win as Orlando visits

Sportsnaut
May 18, 2022; Kansas City, Kansas, USA; Colorado Rapids forward Diego Rubio (11) shoots against Sporting Kansas City during the second half at Children's Mercy Park. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Colorado Rapids and visiting Orlando City SC will try to move on quickly from dramatic games over the weekend when they meet Wednesday night in a cross-conference clash.

The defending Western Conference champion Rapids (5-8-5, 20 points) are winless in their last five matches, but came from two goals down to pull off a 2-2 draw at rivals Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.

While manager Robin Fraser knows his 12th-place side need more than draws to climb back in the playoff picture, he hoped the way in which they responded to adversity at RSL could provide a confidence boost

Diego Rubio scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 67th minute. Defender Lalas Abubakar leveled the game in the 89th on an exceptional volley.

“Really good example of the character of the team,” Fraser said. “To go down two goals and to fight back and give ourselves a chance to win the game, I thought it was really fantastic.”

Orlando (8-7-4, 28 points) had its own late show in a 1-0 win over Inter Miami CF that extended into the early hours of Sunday morning due to a weather delay.

Damion Lowe’s own goal in second-half stoppage time decided the affair, when he tried to clear Jake Mulraney’s cross and instead thumped a volley into his own net.

The Miami defender’s error moved Orlando back up to fifth in the Eastern Conference ahead of Cincinnati and Charlotte.

“We know we have a lot of things to work (on),” Orlando manager Oscar Pareja said afterward. “But today we deserved those three points and we will take it. Very proud.”

Pareja’s Lions have earned three wins and four draws in nine matches away from home.

But they’ve won consecutive matches only once this season and have only two victories in their last seven despite five of Ercan Kara’s team-leading seven goals in that stretch.

–Field Level Media