Here are five things you should know about Wednesday’s match at Colorado (LIVE 8pm CT on My50/TWCSC)
Grant Ward Loan Spell
Fire loanee Grant Ward has made an impact in both of his matches for the team since recovering from a broken metatarsal suffered while training with Tottenham Hotspur in March. Occurring just days before the two clubs were to agree a loan deal, that injury cut deeply into Ward’s short loan spell which is currently set to close at the end of June.
Fire head coach Frank Yallop told reporters Tuesday the club is working towards keeping the 19-year-old winger through the end of the season.
“We’ve made contact with them and we’re waiting to hear back,” Yallop said. “Tottenham just got their new manager. [They’re figuring out] what they want to do with their players. Hopefully we can get a quick answer so we can either move on or get Grant for the rest of the year."
As it stands now, Ward has tonight’s match at Colorado, Saturday’s game vs. Seattle and up to two Open Cup matches to play in before his current loan spell ends.
Fire Record in Colorado
The Fire/Rapids series sees the Men in Red with an all-time edge 18-12-8 but most of those wins have come at home, as the Fire have gone just 3-9-6 in the altitude of Colorado since 1998. The team’s last win in Commerce City was a 2-1 victory on July 4, 2009 which brought to end a 10-match winless streak in the Mile High City (last victory October 6, 1999).
Larentowicz on Colorado’s altitude
Perhaps a reason for the above is the altitude in Denver where the Rapids have an all-time 150-75-62 home record since 1996. In the post-shootout era, the club has only lost six home matches in a season twice and won double digit games at home four times, the last coming in 2013 when they went 10-3-4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Fire captain Jeff Larentowicz spent three seasons with the Rapids (2010-2012) prior to joining the Fire and knows how much of a disadvantage the altitude can before visiting opponents.
“You have to expect it. It’s gonna burn [in your lungs],” he said. “There’s no telling when it’s going to start. The most important thing is to stay hydrated before the game because showing up the day before you can’t acclimate in time. You have to push through it. Traveling midweek to altitude is probably one of the hardest things you can do in this league.”
Not much different from Sunday but click here to find out.
A look back…
The last time these two teams met, was just over a year ago June 19, 2013 at Toyota Park. The Fire went down in the 17th minute as Deshorn Brown gave the visitors a 1-0 lead before a Mike Magee penalty and Austin Berry header saw the Fire take a 2-1 decision. Watch the highlights: