On a balmy Tuesday evening in Commerce City, the supporters of Colorado Rapids were treated to a complete and professional performance as the Rapids defeated Orlando City SC Lions 5-2 in the fourth round of the US Open Cup. The Rapids were led by a hat trick from Deshorn Brown and additional goals by Nick LaBrocca and Dillon Powers. The Burgundy Boys took this game seriously and were on the front foot from the start of the match and rarely gave the Lions much space to operate and move the ball forward. It was a nice reversal for the Rapids as they have shown they have a tendency to play down to the level of their competition at home (see home fixtures against Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquakes and Chivas USA).
The victory allows the Rapids to progress to the fifth round of the Cup and will play Atlanta Silverbacks next Tuesday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park at 7PM. A victory in the fifth round over the Silverbacks would mean the first Quarterfinal berth in the US Open Cup for the Rapids since 2006.
Here is how I saw the match:
Irwin did not have a whole lot to do on the evening and the two Orlando goals were not his fault. Was a significant upgrade of the starter in the 2013 version of this match.
Wynne did well in using his speed to stop Orlando runs, but did lose his man on the second Lions goal.
Shane O'Neill 7.5
O'Neill was good on the night, but on the first Orlando goal he seemed to lose his man a bit, but in all fairness there was a bit of confusion
Drew Moor 7.5
Captain Colorado was solid in limiting the few chances that Orlando had and was able begin many Rapids runs up the field.
Marc Burch 7.5
Burch looked great moving up the left side of the pitch as Chris Klute was relegated to the bench.
Jose Mari 6.5
Jose Mari was good on the night, but inexplicably had some poor turnovers on defense. Against a better team this could have been disastrous.
Nick LaBrocca 7.5
LaBrocca picked up his first goal of the 2014 season that was not pretty, but effective, as it gave the Rapids the lead going into halftime that they never gave up.
Dillon Powers 7.5
Powers was good in possession and was able to start a number of pushes forward from his more familiar midfield position. His goal was pure class, regardless of the opponent.
Dillon Serna 6.5
Serna was effective on the night in possession, but seemed to want to find the perfect positioning on the field to take a shot. The perfect shot is not always there and you can't score if you don't shoot the ball.
Deshorn Brown 10
Three goals and a class goal celebration. Orlando City had not answers for the questions he was asking of their defense.
The Hill renaissance continues with another start for the former Rapids outcast. He continues to embrace his role with the team and had a few good looks and shots at the Orlando net.
Buddle was back on the pitch and was very hungry for goals. He had a few good opportunities but could not quite find the back of the net. But he looked refreshed and happy to be back out there which bodes well for the second half of the season.
Sanchez made his first appearance since injuring himself and showed the brilliance that has sometimes been missing from the Rapids offense. I would think he gets more time next week against Atlanta.