Colorado Rapids defeated Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 on a warm but pleasant Saturday night in Commerce City. Deshorn Brown and Edson Buddle let the scoring charge for the Rapids as Vicente Sanchez and Gabriel Torres made their home and MLS debuts respectively. The victory moved the Rapids to 5-0-4 in their last nine and has them sitting on 39 points with 8 matches remaining.
Here is how I saw the match:
Clint Irwin 8.5
Irwin did not have a whole lot to do, but when called upon his three saves were top class. In the first half he had a crucial save making him big against Kenny Miller. Excellent stuff from Irwin.
Not sure what else can be said about Klute other than he is turning in a performance this season that has to lead to Defender of the Year consideration. Was a beast up and down the left side of the pitch.
The captain put in another solid 90 minutes of work, solidifying the back line against the strong Vancouver attack.
It is hard to believe O'Neill is only 19. Was strong again in the back and with each passing game he becomes more and more comfortable with Moor in the middle. Vancouver scores a lot of goals, but Shane and his defensive compatriots were a big reason they left Commerce City with zero goals.
After a rough start to his summer, Wynne has improved his play and looks comfortable again in the back. His speed was important when trying to prevent the Vancouver runs up the field.
Thomas was all over the field on Saturday and played through pain with what looked like a hamstring issue. The simple truth is, the Rapids midfield is better when he is out there. His partnership with Nathan Sturgis is a big reason the Rapids won the possession battle 55% to 45%.
Nathan Sturgis 8
Another good game from Sturgis. He completed 84% of his passes and held to stifle the Vancouver attack
Vicente Sanchez 8
So yeah, this guy is good. Sanchez has pace, creativity and a deft touch on the ball which gave him the assist on a long cross on the first goal. The next 8 (and hopefully more) games are going to be fun to watch him play.
Powers had his usual hardworking, physical shift against the Whitecaps. Had one shot on the night and completed 78% of his passes
Deshorn Brown 7.5
Brown had a bad game last week but after his performance on Saturday you understand why his name is high on the Rookie of the Year list for MLS. He notched his 7th goal on the year with a nifty header in the first half. Had six total shots, with two on target.
Gabriel Torres 6
Torres made his Rapids debut and it was easy to see why the team was so high on him. He has creativity and pace and as he gets more into the flow of MLS and continues to develop chemistry with the team, he is going to be a difference maker on this team. Saturday was a good debut, although his touch let him down a few times. Nevertheless, the future is brighter with Torres on the team.
Martin Rivero 6.5
I was a little shocked to not see Rivero in the XI on Saturday, but he came on as a second half substitute for Sanchez. It will be exciting to see him play with Torres and Sanchez from the start of the match.
15 minutes of work for LaBrocca with an assist and a shot on goal. Not a bad bit of work for the midfielder.
Edson Buddle 7
Arguably, the guy who could be seen as the loser in the recent signings was Buddle. So how did he respond? 12 minutes of playing time and the goal that sealed the victory. Hopefully Buddle can get back to fitness because the Rapids are a better team with a healthy Buddle.