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Messi makes more MLS history as Suarez scores hat-trick

The morale in New York City FC’s squad is good, so says coach Nick Cushing, as his team aim to extend their winning streak when they take on the Colorado Rapids.

NYCFC have won their last three MLS games, and are unbeaten in five, heading into Saturday’s fixture.

It is their final game of a five-match home run, with Cushing’s team up to sixth in the Eastern Conference.

“The moral is really good,” Cushing said. “As a coach, you like it when the mood is happy and vibrant and everyone is flying but you also want to make sure the feet are on the floor and the eyes are facing forward.

“We looked at the performance (against Charlotte FC), and I agree we have to score more goals. The process of scoring more goals was about how do we create more chances. I think now we’re in a place where it is about how do we score more of the chances we create.

“The aim is to make sure that we prepare ourselves well so that we get ourselves mentally to a place where we can perform well and control the game against a really difficult Colorado team.

“We know they’re going to press and be aggressive. The area of ​​development for the team is to take the chances we create and score goals and continue to be an attacking team.

“Every time we’re hard to play against we give ourselves a chance of winning. When I look out at the guys on the training field I see hungry guys.”

The Rapids, meanwhile, are sixth in the Western Conference.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

NYCFC – Santiago Rodriguez

Rodriguez assisted on New York City FC’s stoppage-time winning goal on Saturday, his sixth goal contribution of the season (four goals, two assists), all at home. Since the start of last season, Rodriguez has recorded 15 goal contributions in 22 home matches compared to four in 19 away matches.

Colorado Rapids – Rafael Navarro

Navarro is the Rapids’ leading scorer this season, with four goals in MLS. All of those have come from his right foot, with Navarro averaging a goal every 201 minutes.

MATCH PREDICTION: NYCFC WIN

Colorado’s four-match unbeaten run ended last week with a 2-1 loss at FC Cincinnati. The Rapids are winless in their last nine away matches against Eastern Conference opposition in all competitions (D3 L6).

NYCFC have won three straight regular-season matches for the first time since the last three matches of the 2022 season. NYCFC had managed only two wins in their previous 10 matches dating back to the end of last season.

NYCFC are unbeaten in six all-time meetings with the Rapids (W3 D3). The Rapids are one of two teams (San Jose Earthquakes) NYCFC have played more than three times and never lost against.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

NYCFC – 52%

Colorado Rapids – 21.1%

Draw – 26.9%