The MLS champs appear to be back. After defeating first place New York 4-1 and first place Philadelphia 2-1, the Colorado Rapids continued their streak of defeating teams in first place of the Eastern conference tonight as they handily downed the Columbus Crew 2-0 on their home turf, both snapping a streak of 1-0 wins at DSGP and avenging the 4-1 loss that they had suffered at Crew stadium earlier in the season.
The Rapids had the lion's share of possession and shots in this game, with a 5-1 ratio of shots on goal by the end of the match. The game's first half was actually rather boring although the Rapids did have the advantage, with very few shots toward goal from either side and all of the three shots that the Rapids launched toward goal turning into incredibly easy saves for Will Hesmer.
The second half is where the action was to be found as Brian Mullan started the second half off with a flashy and tremendously fun to watch goal in the 55th minute from 30 yards out. With Josh Gardner settled several yards away from him, Mullan teed up a ball and launched it literally into the most perfect spot in the top corner that he possibly could have snuck it into. Hesmer had no chance and the Rapids took the lead on that shot, which should probably qualify as a goal of the week candidate.
Omar Cummings put home a goal created by Sanna Nyassi later - the fifth goal/assist these two have created since they started being put together up top - but the game was so solidly in the Rapids court by that point in just about every category that it probably didn't matter. Columbus managed only a paltry one shot on goal as Andres Mendoza tried to slip one past Pickens after being sprung loose from the defense but was denied by Matt Pickens.
Probably the most complete game of the season for the Rapids all-in-all, with only the home opener against Portland and the 4-1 game against the New York Red Bulls having a chance at that title. Fantastic win.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Brian Mullan. For a guy that had his worst game of the season last time the Rapids and Columbus played, he certainly pushed up the volume for this one. Possibly his best game yet in Burgundy.
GOAT OF THE MATCH: I got nothing. Cummings didn't play particularly well for large chunks but still came close to scoring a few times before that goal finally went in, so nobody really deserves this.