COMMERCE CITY, CO - MARCH 19: Kevin Goldthwaite #2 of the Portland Timbers goes for the ball against Connor Casey #9 of the Colorado Rapids on March 19, 2011 at Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Bart Young/Getty Images)
1 Total Update since March 19, 2011
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Colorado came out very strong in their first game of the 2011 MLS Season, defeating the Portland Timbers 3-1 on the scoreboard but quite possibly even more if spiritual chances at goals count for anything. (They don’t.)
In front of a healthy looking crowd at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park including a large gang of Timbers supporters, the carnage started early with a bang as Jeff Larentowicz collected a clean rebound off of Adin Brown and shoveled it into the top corner in the 8th minute of play. Portland had not looked great on the pitch before the goal but they never quite recovered from the early shock of Jeff’s blast. Omar Cummings had his own great goal twenty minutes later as he flicked down his own rebound from a deflected shot and slid it neatly into the bottom corner.
The best goal of the night came only a minute later. Jamie Smith collected a turnover from the Portland midfield and unleashed the dragon on a shot from 30 yards out that really can only be described in two ways. The first one is “sheer brilliance”. The second is “HOLY #^$&, DID YOU SEE THAT?!!”. It was a perfectly placed rocket right under the crossbar, shades of Omar Cummings’ goal against the New York Red Bulls last season. If the Timbers spirits weren’t broken before, that was the goal that did it. The game went into halftime 3-0.
After the break the Rapids came out playing very conservatively to hold their lead, only taking what the Timbers were giving them in terms of attacking and playing a lot of their famous possession ball to keep the clock rolling down. Kenny Cooper managed to score on the Rapids in the 80th minute after Quincy Amarikwa and Sanna Nyassi had been subbed into the game, but it was far too late by that point. Nyassi almost answered right back and was only a Brown save away from making it 4-1 with a bullet from point blank range.
A hell of a start to the season for the defending champs, and one that might turn some heads. The next two games are against Chivas USA and DC United, so we’ll see how this team continues to handle some of the weaker teams in the league. Either way, there’s very little to complain about after that one.
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The Colorado Rapids have been waiting all offseason to come back onto the pitch at Dicks Sporting Goods Park and defend their first ever MLS trophy. The Portland Timbers and their fans have been waiting 16 years now to get their shot at facing an MLS team in actual MLS competition. Fortunately for both groups, MLS First Kick starts for the Rapids and Timbers at The Dick tonight at 7 PM Mountain Time.
Colorado will be without a couple of players including the ill Wells Thompson as well as striker Andre Akpan and backup goalkeeper Ian Joyce. The starting lineup will be unaffected by injury or sickness, as coach Gary Smith will probably roll out the exact same Starting XI that the Rapids used in the MLS Cup Final back in November. Jeff Larentowicz is probably the most suspect to get the start because of a car accident he was involved in a couple of days ago but the Rapids have reported him to be fine.
Portland's starting XI might be hit a bit by injury - their first round draft pick Darlington Nagbe had a great preseason but is unfortunately sidelined because of surgery - but their captain, former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Jack Jewsbury will be available along with a lot more decent midfielders and forwards. Their defense and goalkeeping are both suspect, which in the Rapids case might mean that forward tandem Conor Casey and Omar Cummings will be looking to feast on a depleted backline and perhaps a back-up keeper with Troy Perkins out because of injury.
MLS First Kick starts tonight, go Rapids!