It's not often that we get things right on the Rapids Thugcast, but we actually called it pretty tightly this time around. Not only did Vicente Sanchez and Gabriel Torres start in their home debuts, but Edson Buddle was called off the bench for only about 20 minutes of time and had a big impact, far more than we had seen in his latest few starts. It all culminated in a huge 2-0 win for the Rapids over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
With Torres up top with Sanchez and Deshorn Brown on the sides, there was always going to be potential for offense in this one. Unfortunately, it took a little bit of time to really get it going. Martin Rivero, questionably, didn't get the start, with Oscar Pareja instead choosing to keep Dillon Powers at the top of the midfield with Nathan Sturgis and Hendry Thomas. As a result, the midfield had a few troubles linking the ball to Torres, and the chemistry wasn't particularly good.
Vancouver came very close to taking advantage of the slow start a few times, with Russel Teibert, Camilo and Kenny Miller putting together a few solid combination plays through the Rapids defense that Clint Irwin had to make solid saves on. Past those few chances for Vancouver though, the Rapids took control well and were finally able to open their scoring in the 36th minute. Brown made amends for his awful match against Chivas by getting on the end of a cross from Vicente Sanchez with his head.
With the goal in hand, the Rapids had all the confidence going forward to finish the game off. There wasn't much of a response from the Whitecaps in the second half, and Martin Rivero's introduction into the match kept the possession on Colorado's feet even more. Unfortunately, Gaby Torres couldn't find a goal on his debut despite a few decent looks, thanks to what seemed like heavy legs causing long first touches.
Eventually, Nick Labrocca and Edson Buddle were brought in for Powers and Torres, and the two of them made a quick impact off the bench. It was Buddle who got the second goal to clinch the victory, slapping a hard shot that deflected past a leaning David Ousted. That proved to be enough for the Rapids.
With the Seattle Sounders dropping a 3-1 result in Houston and some other tight games going in the Western Conference tonight, those three points could be big. Next up, the Rapids have their final Eastern conference game after a week-long break, going into Sporting KC's fortress to try and steal a road result.