Red Bulls open August hosting the lowly Colorado Rapids

Red Bulls team grouping

Welcome to August everyone, the New York Red Bulls are home again, this time for the visit of the Colorado Rapids. The month of July wasn’t all that kind to both teams, increasing the stakes for this game. Gerhard Struber will need to make some interesting lineup decisions for this game, while Robin Fraser will try and hope for something to right away from home.

Red Bulls host Colorado Rapids to start pivotal August month

It’s the first meeting between the teams since August 2019, let’s take a look at this game from both sides.

Red Bulls aim to get over U.S. Open Cup Semifinal heartbreak

The 5-1 loss at Orlando City on July 27th was as historic a collapse as any in recent club history. Gerhard Struber seemingly lost control of how to manage the game and saw his side concede four second-half goals after a wild first half. You would think that an MLS regular season game would be just what this young team needs to get rid of the stink, but nope. A 2-0 international friendly loss to FC Barcelona happened three days later. That capped off a rough month of July in which they went 2W-1D-3L in all competitions, highlights were the 4-3 win at Austin after the 1-0 defeat at home to NYCFC. The 31 days in July put the Red Bulls tied for 3rd in the East, 6 points back of NYCFC and 9 back of leaders Philadelphia.

Now the Red Bulls return with an East-West tangle against the Rapids. At home, New York has been dreadful. Their three wins in Harrison are tied for the fewest in MLS, the 13 points won are tied with Cincinnati for second-worst, with only Sporting KC the absolute worst in the league. The team has looked gassed, just tired throughout matches while the same recurring substitutions have also happened, such as Tom Barlow for Patryk Klimala with differing results. Rotation in midfield could certainly be welcome, with Dru Yearwood and Daniel Edelman both deserving of more minutes. Luquinhas’ production has slowed down, while it’s unclear who the clear-cut starter is at right-back.

Aside from all that, keep an eye (or anything) on the Red Bulls transfer window. Why? Because there’s been nothing going on. Very little rumors, less activity and supporters ready to rip new ones on a team that can possibly host a playoff game. They are also severely lacking in key areas, and could be without Tom Edwards as talks with Stoke City for a return have begun again. Never a dull day in Red Bull world. And yet, a win against the Rapids is what must happen. A goal by a forward would be a great sight, as well as a clean sheet which hasn’t happened in nearly a full month.

Rapids still searching for first away victory

It has been a miserable 2022 for the Colorado Rapids. Robin Fraser has thrown multiple darts on a board to see what sticks, and yet they languish in 12th in the Western Conference. Only San Jose and Sporting KC has fewer points than the Rapids. Despite recording two goals and an assist in July, the trade for Gyasi Zardes has largely fallen flat. The Rapids went 1W-2D-2L last month, the latest game being a 2-1 loss at the Seattle Sounders after grabbing the lead inside the opening three minutes.

Diego Rubio has been the Rapids’ MVP so far with nine goals and three assists. The lack of offensive help around him has been noticeable, and only Chicago and Sporting have scored fewer goals than Colorado. Statistically, this team doesn’t get many shots on target, and isn’t so efficient making clearances or tackles. That is something that can play into the Red Bulls’ hands, but New York has been very shaky in defense as of late. A lot has happened in the three years since the last meeting where Colorado ran out of Red Bull Arena 2-0 winners for its first and only win in New Jersey.

Colorado is trying to do everything in its power to make the playoffs, they’re seven points back of Portland. They’ve won the fewest points away from home and yet to win away from home, only Toronto FC are the other club yet to gain victory on their travels. Both clubs have one more game before the All-Star Break; New York visits D.C. United, Colorado hosts Minnesota. But for this match at Red Bull Arena, both teams will be desperate for three points to get back to good form.

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