The Colorado Rapids played a gritty and possession-filled game against the New York Red Bulls today at an incredibly soggy Dick's Sporting Goods Park but could only escape the torrential downpour with a 1-1 draw, the first draw the Red Bulls have been a part of all season. The tie lifts their all-time record on the 4th of July to an impressive 11-2-2.
Colorado came out flying to start the match, getting almost all of the possession in the first 15 minutes of play, culminating in a breakaway for Omar Cummings and Conor Casey on a counter-attack. Casey sent a perfect pass to Cummings' foot and he flicked it in easily for the first goal of the game. The same play occurred only nine minutes later with Mehdi Ballouchy getting the easy tap in. The flag on the side stayed down but several seconds after the goal had been scored it was called offside by head referee Baldomero Toledo, turning the crowds cheers into jeers quickly.
In the 34th minute, the Red Bulls equalized when a lucky bounce on a corner kick gave Red Bulls captain Juan Pablo Angel wide open just a few feet from the net. With keeper Matt Pickens caught flat footed and unable to react, Angel had no problem striking it in. That would turn out to be the last ball to go in - offside or not - for either team.
The Rapids dominated the second half in possession, getting no less than five fantastic chances to score that missed by inches; the best among them Ballouchy's powerful strike from over 25 yards out that crashed off the top corner of the post despite catching Red Bulls keeper Bouna Coundoul by complete surprise. Unfortunately luck was not on the Rapids side for the night and the crowd of over 18,000 was forced to watch the fireworks show in the still pouring rain, content with just getting a point out of a very well fought game.
The Rapids next face Toronto FC at BMO Field in Canada on July 10th. They met in Commerce City earlier in the season, with the Rapids defeating the Canadian side 3-1 with the help of two penalty kicks.