Commerce City, CO – In a fixture that has become something of a tradition in recent years, the Colorado Rapids will host Red Bull New York for a Fourth of July encounter at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Thursday.
The two sides have faced one another on July 4 four times, including twice in the last five years. Colorado leads the Independence Day series against New York with a 3-0-1 record.
The Rapids routed the Red Bulls, 4-0, when they faced off at DSG Park on July 4, 2008, but their most recent Independence Day meeting resulted in a 1-1 draw in 2010.
The Red Bulls and Rapids have combined to score four or more goals in eight of their last nine meetings since 2008, and if Colorado's most recent league outing is any indication, there could be plenty of goals on hand at DSG Park on Thursday.
Colorado enters the match following a thrilling 4-3 win over the Montreal Impact, a result that handed the Canadian side its first home loss of the season. It was enough for the Rapids to snap a three-game losing skid, and Dillon Powers hopes that it will be enough to spark a return to form for the Rocky Mountain club.
"This win is a major boost to us, credit to Montreal they are I think one of the best teams in the league, if not the best," said Powers. "It was a tough game to win here and to win like that gives us so much confidence to go forward. So there's a lot of momentum that this is setting forth for the next two home games."
New York also managed to put an end to a disappointing run of form in its last outing, snapping a three-game winless run and two-game losing streak with a 2-0 defeat of the Houston Dynamo on Sunday.
A pair of former Real Salt Lake players nabbed the goals for the Red Bulls at the weekend as Fabian Espindola broke a two-month scoring drought with what proved to be the game-winner.
"He's a really important player that does so much work and doesn't get the plaudits for it," Tim Cahill told MLSsoccer.com after the match. "He's a great footballer, he's a player that every team needs because he does that extra bit of hard work, takes the pressure off the midfield, and you need the players to work for the team. When he gets his goal today, it's the icing on the cake."
Jonny Steele provided New York with an insurance goal two minutes from time, becoming the sixth Red Bull player to record more than one goal this season.
With goals coming from so many different sources, Colorado's defense, which has conceded 12 goals over the club's last five games, will need to be on point to contain such a potent Red Bulls offense.