This is the type of win that season turnarounds are built upon. An empowered and feisty Rapids team unlike any we’d seen so far this season came out today and earned both their first win and their first shut-out since way back on June 5th when the Rapids defeated the Columbus Crew, also with a 1-0 score. This is also the first win the Rapids have had over the Quakes since way back in 2004.
The Rapids finally switched to a 4-4-2 today after a few weeks of speculation, with Omar Cummings and Quincy Amarikwa – a former Quake! – starting in the striker positions with Conor Casey still sidelined and not even on the 18 man roster. Colorado started the game lagging a bit but held their defense well enough to keep San Jose from creating chances despite a heavy lead in possession. Colin Clark almost got on the board early as he slid a perfect ball into the post, Omar Cummings missed the net by inches only minutes later.
The Rapids got on the board with the only goal of the game in the 25th minute when former Matt Pickens back-up Jon Busch allowed a pass by Omar Cummings to bounce off his hands and into the net, in the style of Rob Gre… well, Englanders know who I’m talking about. After that the chances dwindled for both teams until Mehdi Ballouchy – subbed on after Colin Clark went down with what appeared to be a badly injured knee – had a 1v1 at the very end of 90 minutes which was shot right into the outstreched goalkeeper. The defense held strong and kept the clean sheet through until the end.
With the win, the lead on the Earthquakes in the West is now four points, and the Rapids finally, for the first time in literally months, have some momentum on their side. Colorado will travel to Philly to play the Union next on the 14th.