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Conor Casey shines in the captain's role with Pablo Mastroeni out

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COMMERCE CITY, CO - JULY 9:  Conor Casey #9 of the Colorado Rapids celebrates his first half goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on July 9, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
COMMERCE CITY, CO - JULY 9: Conor Casey #9 of the Colorado Rapids celebrates his first half goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on July 9, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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With Pablo Mastroeni missing the match against the Vancouver Whitecaps, not only his spot on the pitch had to be dealt with but also the question of the captain's armband. Rapids leading striker Conor Casey was the obvious first choice for the captain-ship and was given the opportunity, and quite frankly shined in the role during the night.

The goal that Casey scored was a vintage one for him - in fact I'm considering just calling a hard run to the near post a 'Conor Casey goal' from now on - and he dictated the pace of the game for the Rapids all game long. He even created the second goal with another of his famous flick-on headers which needed a tremendous effort from Joe Cannon to stop.

"Well, it's always difficult," said coach Gary Smith when asked about Pablo missing the match and how the Rapids responded to it. "You know, Pablo dictates an awful lot with his quality. I think that the guys dealt with that tonight very well. There were moments where maybe his experience would have come in handy, but the guys that filled in the slots and were asked to perform tonight did their job, and they did it well."

Conor Casey performing as the captain is an experiment worth repeating if Pablo Mastroeni ever misses another match, as they did indeed do their job well.