MLS

Colorado Rapids v San Jose Earthquakes: Armas sees winning mentality in hosts

By Sports Desk May 10, 2024

Chris Armas believes the Colorado Rapids are already developing a winning mentality, as they bid to continue their strong start to the campaign against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

Colorado sit fifth in the Western Conference standings with 18 points from 11 games after beating New York City FC 2-1 on their travels last week, their fifth win of the campaign.

That is as many victories as they managed throughout the entirety of last season, and another win on Saturday would take them past the 20-point mark, which they required 27 matches to surpass in 2023.

"Often I'm just watching and learning from the best teams and coaches, that could be in our league, it could be around the world, but when the whistle blows we know how to ramp it up," Armas said this week.

"If you have this ability to ramp it up on game day, then that becomes the norm. You can be light-hearted, you can enjoy training, but when the whistle blows out there it is game on.

"You can see that's becoming who we are, that we know our roles and the players are clear on what they do. We hold them to it and they're now starting to hold each other more accountable."

The 'Quakes are bottom of the West with seven points, though they recorded just their second win of the season against Los Angeles FC last week.

Amahl Pellegrino scored in that 3-1 derby win, and he hopes it can be a turning point for the team, saying: "Football is an easy thing when you have confidence. 

"To get a huge win with a good performance makes things easier because you start to believe in what you're doing in training. We just have to continue."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Colorado Rapids – Cole Bassett 

Bassett recorded a goal and an assist in last week's win over NYCFC, his fifth regular-season match with at least one goal and one assist for the Rapids. 

Only three players have ever enjoyed more such games for Colorado in their MLS history.

San Jose Earthquakes – Cristian Espinoza 

Espinoza assisted two of San Jose's three goals against LAFC last time out, his eighth multi-assist match in MLS, tied for the most of any player since he joined the league in 2019 (with Carles Gil and Mauricio Pereyra).

MATCH PREDICTION – COLORADO RAPIDS WIN

Colorado are unbeaten in 12 straight regular-season home matches against San Jose (six wins, six draws) with the Earthquakes' last win in Commerce City coming in 2013. 

This equals the Rapids' longest regular-season home unbeaten run against any opponent, having also gone 12 without defeat versus the LA Galaxy between 2003 and 2009.

With San Jose only recording two wins so far this campaign, the Rapids will be confident of maintaining that impressive record.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY 

Colorado Rapids – 48.2%

San Jose Earthquakes – 24.6%

Draw – 27.2%

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