The Colorado Rapids are set to host Guatemalan team Comunicaciones FC on Wednesday at DSG Park for the second leg of their Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 series, but will do so in severe weather conditions.
The Major League Soccer side faces a 1-0 aggregate deficit, facing an uphill battle if they want to remain in the international tournament.
And the climb won’t be an easy one, given that the weather forecast for the match predicts freezing temperatures and a potential snowfall.
While the Rapids are preparing for the worst, head coach Robin Fraser admitted the situation is less than ideal.
"This is certainly not any kind of football weather anyone wants to be a part of," Fraser said during his pre-match media availability.
"But it is what it is and we have to deal with the conditions just like they'll have to deal with the conditions. At the end of the day we need a result, as do they. So regardless of the weather conditions, both teams will have to deal with it, both teams will have to adapt and we'll have to figure out ways to be effective within it."
The team almost entered the second match of the series with a 0-0 tie before conceding in the 89th minute when Karel Espino fired a shot from 35-yards out to find the back of the net. The Rapids failed to retaliate in time to avoid the disadvantage.
"Overall I just didn't think we played very well. I didn't think very many guys were sharp on the night and as a result our decision-making wasn't as good as it normally is and as a result our execution wasn't as good as it normally is. I think everyone agrees with that. It's kind of the starting point for getting ready for this game is that everyone knows they need to be a little bit sharper,” Fraser said.
"One of the things is that this group never quits and I think they were not happy with the way they played and they knew that they could play a lot better. I think to a man there's a real resolve that we have to be better, we can be better and really nothing less than that is going to be acceptable tomorrow."
The Rapids are one of five Major League Soccer teams participating in the tournament, alongside the New England Revolution, CF Montreal, NYCFC, and the Seattle Sounders.
The winner of the series faces either NYCFC or Santos de Guápiles in the quarterfinal series set for March 8-17.