Colorado Rapids winger Jonathan Lewis has urged his teammates to “man up” if they are to get back to winning ways at New York Red Bulls on Tuesday.
Robin Fraser’s side squandered an early lead given to them by Lewis in a 2-1 defeat to Seattle Sounders last time out, snapping their three-game unbeaten run in MLS.
The Rapids are 12th in the Western Conference, six points off the playoffs, and Lewis acknowledged it is down to him and his colleagues to turn things around in midweek.
“The Red Bulls are one of the best high-pressing teams. They make the game uncomfortable whenever you’re playing against them,” he said.
“We’ve got to just be able to play under the pressure. That’s something against Seattle I felt like we struggled with a little bit.
“So we just got to man up and just be willing to get on the ball with the guy in our back.”
The Red Bulls fell 2-0 to Barcelona in a prestige friendly at the weekend, following on from a heavy loss to Orlando City SC in the U.S Open Cup.
Gerhard Struber’s side have won three of their past five MLS matches, however, and are flying high in third place in the Eastern Conference ahead of the Rapids’ visit.
“I’m very proud of my boys and what we have developed,” Struber said. “We have to find the right mindset now – that’s the difference between good outfits and great ones.
“With that right mindset we will get back on another winning streak. Of course we are disappointed by recent results, but we have to handle that pain and use it.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
New York Red Bulls – Lewis Morgan
Morgan scored his 12th goal of the season across all competitions in last week’s cup loss to Orlando, with a team-high nine of those goals coming in the league.
The Scottish attacker also has a couple of assists to his name in what has been by far his best season to date in terms of productivity in front of goal.
Colorado Rapids – Jonathan Lewis
United States international Lewis has scored one goal and assisted two more across his past two outings.
The 25-year-old is just three goals away from tying his single-season career high of seven from last season.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– This will be the first meeting between the Red Bulls and Rapids since August 2019 when Colorado won 2-0 at Red Bull Arena. The 12 meetings between the sides since 2010 have seen each team win four times and draw four, though Colorado’s win at New York in 2019 is their only road victory in that span (D3 L3).
– The Red Bulls saw their six-match home unbeaten run (W3 D3) end with a 1-0 defeat to New York City FC in their last home match on July 17. The Red Bulls haven’t dropped consecutive home matches since a three-match losing streak in September 2020.
– Colorado are winless in their first 10 away matches this season (D3 L7), one of two teams without an away win in 2022 (Toronto). The Rapids have gone longer into a season without a road win only once, failing to win any of their first 13 away matches in 2017.
– The four players to score for the Red Bulls in their 4-3 win over Austin FC on July 25 (Serge Ngoma, Dru Yearwood, Cameron Harper, Tom Barlow) had combined for 12 goals in 157 MLS appearances entering the match.
– Lewis scored Colorado’s lone goal against Seattle on July 23. Lewis has been involved in four of Colorado’s past seven MLS goals (two goals, two assists), including the last three (one goal, two assists).