Colorado's injury riddled lineup put on a decent show for the home fans on Saturday afternoon, but Will Johnson put two into the back of the net in the second half to preserve a draw for a scrappy Portland Timbers side.
It wasn't a bad start for the Rapids considering the patchwork Starting XI that they were forced to use. Oscar Pareja was forced into putting up a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield, not his preferred but the best option he had available. Edson Buddle got his first start of the season for Colorado, as did Chris Klute, Shane O'Neill and Nick Labrocca.
Possession was even as the ball stayed mostly in the midfield for both teams, but Colorado ended up getting more runs forward that materialized chances. Portland had a dangerous moment or two, but the centerback tandem of Marvell Wynne and O'Neill did quite well at snuffing out the most threatening of the chances they received. Eventually, the Rapids found themselves on top thanks to a goal of the week contender from Dillon Powers, who launched a beauty from 25 yards out into the top corner.
Colorado added a second shortly into the second half, when Tony Cascio was clipped from behind in the box by Diego Chara. It was a bit touch-and-go as penalties go -- not the first time we'd see that on the night -- but there were no complaints from the sparse crowd of 11,774 as Hendry Thomas scored his first goal as a Rapid, slotting the ball, calm as you like, into the corner.
Set pieces, which have been a problem for the Rapids for quite a while now, eventually poked their head into the game and allowed Portland a way back in. Will Johnson, on a second chance from a corner kick, ended up unmarked in front of Clint Irwin in the 55th minute and headed it easily past the diving Clint Irwin. Shortly after that, Portland managed to pull the game back into a tie when Atiba Harris got beat on another corner kick and lifted his leg up in a kick to try and stop the attacker.
He didn't actually make contact, but the referee saw the intent and that was enough to call the second 'Eh, I guess so' penalty of the evening. Will Johnson finished it cleanly to finish the scoring on the night.
That's not to say there weren't chances on both ends following the Johnson brace, but both teams were only good at getting the ball forward, not creating that final chance to get a game winner. 2-2 is probably a fair enough result for the game that was played, though the home fans were undeniably a bit frustrated at a fairly preventable blown lead once again. Of course, with this many injuries, it's hard to be too upset at the youngsters who tried their hardest to hold the line.
Also, Ben made this: