Robin Fraser has expressed pride in the “hard work” his Colorado Rapids team has shown in qualifying for the MLS Cup playoffs.
A 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Saturday was enough to seal a second league in a row in the postseason after missing three years in a row earlier.
Colorado is among the lowest spenders in the MLS and has no permanently appointed players in its ranks – Younes Namli is their only DP but is only in the club on loan from Russian FC Krasnodar.
Despite that, Fraser’s men are third only after the Seattle Sounders and Sporting KC in the West, while no team has lost less than their six games in their own conference.
Speaking to reporters after Saturday’s match, Fraser praised his players for defying the odds once again in 2021.
“That’s why we play. That’s why we compete. That’s why I’ve been doing this for as long as I have, trying to win and trying to get into positions to win things, says Fraser.
“What I’m really proud of is this group of players who are often ignored. Small team, low budget, all these things. I’m really proud of how hard and cohesive they’ve worked all year to get to this point.”
Fraser added that Rapid’s qualification for the playoffs is no luck and that they fully deserve their shot at the MLS Cup honor, which is still the ultimate goal.
End your evening with four minutes of highlights from tonight’s win. ? pic.twitter.com/55z5hbwxEU
– Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) October 24, 2021
“I’m really, really happy for them because we are not here by chance. We are here because they deserved it,” he continued. “Because I’m really, really excited. But that’s the first goal. We have a couple of other goals we want to tackle here. But just coming here and being in the playoffs is really a gratifying feeling. Again, just really proud of the group. ”
The next task for Rapids is to try to capture SKC and Sounders above them to secure as many home playoff games as possible. The former are level in the table and only ahead in won matches, while the latter have a three-point lead with three matches left.
Next is a trip to the newly crowned Supporters’ Shield champions New England Revolution on Wednesday.