If MLS only had two teams, and those teams were the Colorado Rapids and the Montreal Impact, the Rapids would win the MLS Cup every single season. Going into Saturday's match, Montreal was the only team that the Colorado Rapids had never dropped a result against, and that stayed consistent tonight. Once again, it was a game filled with goals, but it wasn't quite as much of a 'what the hell just happened' result as the last two -- instead, this time the Rapids went ahead early and were able to pile on in order to earn a 4-1 win at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
The first half had a familiar feeling to it, with a Rapids penalty kick being called only a few minutes into the proceedings. It was probably the softest one since the Marvin Chavez fluffer against the New York Red Bulls, with Edson Buddle flipping in the air as Sanna Nyassi put an arm around him. It was enough though, and with Colorado's usual penalty expert, Vicente Sanchez, out with injury, it was up to Dillon Powers to slot it down the center for his first goal of the season.
Colorado were playing with a flat 4-4-2 this time around, and seemed happy to push men forward more freely than we had seen from the majority of their matches this year. This meant tons of chances, and a more counter-attacking mentality from the team that led to a wide possession-battle victory by the Impact, but with little to show for it. It reminded me a bit of the Rapids in a few of their matches this year, actually. A packed midfield, lots of possession, but no bite.
In the second half, the chance discrepancy finally bit the Impact fast, hard and often. Kamani Hill, making this third start of the year -- a start more than he saw the entirety of last year in a game where he also broke 200 minutes on the season after playing only 180 in 2013 -- scored a wonderful curler in the 54th minute after being fed the ball by Edson Buddle, and Shane O'Neill found himself open from 25 yards out only four minutes later and let fly for his first MLS goal.
After the two potential Goal of the Week candidates, it was pretty much over. Montreal did have a legitimate gripe with the refereeing crew after a goal that couldn't have been more onside was called off after a delay by the linesman, but nearly every other chance they had was a wayward cross or a half-hearted through ball easily cut out by the strong Rapids defense.
Dillon Powers got his second of the game in the 84th minute following Marlon Hairston's introduction, and the shutout was broken shortly after the introduction of Danny Mwanga. It was Andres Romero who got consolation for the Impact in the 88th minute, as a clearance by Troy Perkins off a corner kick was taken quickly all the way down the field for a shot that Clint Irwin couldn't do much about. The difference between 4-1 and 4-0 hardly hurt any pride, though.
So, can we play you every week, Impact?