On a cold and snowy afternoon in Commerce City, Colorado Rapids recorded their first victory of the 2014 MLS season. A 2-0 victory over Portland Timbers brought the Rapids to 1-0-1 for the young season and it began the home campaign in style. Goals by Vicente Sanchez and Deshorn Brown and stout defense by John Berner, Shane O'Neill, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, and Marc Burch powered the Rapids to the their first victory in the Pablo Mastroeni era.
Here is how I saw the match:
GK: John Berner 7
Rookie Berner recorded his first victory and first clean sheet. He had three saves for the match and looked calmed and composed all afternoon.
DEF: Shane O'Neill 7
A significantly better game for O'Neill. He looked more comfortable on the right side and was dangerous moving up in attack.
DEF: Marvell Wynne 7
Along with O'Neill, Wynne was much improved over his performance from last week. Made a crucial stop after a ball got past Berner.
DEF: Drew Moor 7.5
Moor has so many quality performances that you sometimes take for granted his consistency of play. He took charge of the center and led the group to a clean sheet.
DEF: Marc Burch 7
Making his first start in Burgundy, Burch was strong on defense and made some key runs on the left side.
MID: Nick LaBrocca 7.5
LaBrocca is solidifying his place in the midfield with another solid performance. He demonstrated the toughness needed in a defensive midfielder and is not afraid to take shots from distance.
MID: Jose Mari 5.5
A largely forgettable day by Mari that was capped off by a weak red card that will force him to miss the next match against Sporting Kansas City.
MID: Deshorn Brown 6
Brown had a better game and opened his account for the 2014 season. The PK he took was poor, but he had the vision to immediately follow the shot up and score the second goal of the night. Brown looks better as a midfielder opposed to the lone striker up top.
MID: Dillon Powers 8
Powers had an understated day and turned in a Man of the Match performance. He had crisp passing, played a physical game and was box to box all day. Quite simply, he is the engine that makes the Rapids offense go. You don't award assists on PK's, but Powers passing was the driving force that led to the two PK's.
MID: Vicente Sanchez 7.5
Sanchez recorded his second of the year (both from the spot) and was fouled which led to the second. Is he a starter or super-sub? That will be a fun question to see get answered over the course of the season.
F: Edson Buddle 6.5
Buddle made his first start of the year and did a good job as a target forward. His touch let him down a few times and should have had a goal in the first half. However, the offense looked more organized with Buddle up top.
Gabriel Torres 6
Torres was reduced to bench duty and did not do much in his 11 minutes of work to distinguish himself.
Marvin Chavez 6
Had a shot on goal and a flop. Did not draw a penalty this time.
Kamani Hill N/A
Late game cameo for Hill, not much to say.