New on Sports Illustrated: Sporting Kansas City-Rapids Preview

August 28, 2020 at 05:40AM

The Colorado Rapids were one of several MLS teams to boycott a match earlier this week. At the moment, they could be ready to take the pitch again.

Winless in their last four contests, the Rapids will host Western Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.

Colorado (2-3-1) was slated to face FC Dallas on Wednesday night, but were one of five matches that ended up being boycotted. The action came in the response to the unrest and violence following Sunday's police shooting of black 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

In a statement from Rapids Executive Vice President and General Manager Padraig Smith: "We fully support the decision made by our players to join athletes across the country in using their platforms to fight for change, justice and accountability. As a club, as an organization, and more importantly, as human beings, we stand united in condemning racial and social injustices."

While Colorado, and the rest of the league, will continue to focus on ways to bring awareness to such racial and social injustices plaguing the United States, the games will apparently go on. Kansas City coach Peter Vermes, who was supportive of the stance taken by players around the league, understands the balance that might be needed during these turbulent times.

"We all want to be able to do our profession," Vermes told the official website of MLS. "But at the same time, there's a real need for change. Frankly, it's unacceptable in our society. Unfortunately, these are the things now that have to be done to garner support and attention."

This will be the second time in 2020 that Colorado and Kansas City will square off. Jonathan Lewis (three goals in 2020) scored an equalizing goal in the 84th minute for the Rapids at the "MLS is Back Tournament" on July 17, but Sporting's Graham Zusi delivered the winner in the first minute of stoppage time for the 3-2 victory.

The Rapids are 0-3-1 since winning their first two matches of the season before the coronavirus pandemic halted the season in March. They fell 4-1 at Real Salt Lake on Friday night, when they could only manage an own goal.

Sporting Kansas City, meanwhile, also looks to bounce back after its three-game winning streak came to an end. The Johnny Russell (two goals) and Gadi Kinda (four goals) each had a goal, but SKC conceded its most goals of 2020 in Tuesday's 5-2 home loss to Houston.

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