That corner. That elusiveness. That clearance. Here's to you, Colorado Rapids forward Charles Eloundou! I raise my glass of Coke Zero!
When Solignac went down with that hamstring injury, on came Eloundou. Immediate energy came with him. When RSL scored in the 79' after Sebastian Jaime went unmarked, I noticed something different about our Burgundy Lads. We didn't give up. In the 81', Eloundou scurried over to get the ball down for the corner, delivered that hummer with some pace, and--behold--Drew Moor does what he does best in heading home the equalizer.
And then comes extra time: Eloundou's magical feet in the box should have netted him a goal, but it's clear that he can give defenders fits. Sure, Jared Watts scored his first MLS goal on the rebound (congratulations, Jared), but that doesn't happen without Eloundou.
Then in the end, when RSL gets a corner even after the five minutes extra time elapsed. Eloundou clears it out to Juan Ramirez. Rightly, the referee can't stop play on a clear goal-scoring opportunity, and Ramirez runs the pitch and scores from about three feet out. Bam! Exclamation point!
See you fellas in October for claim to the Rocky Mountain Cup!
Last year, at Fan Appreciation Day, we drew Charles Eloundou, who gave us a game jersey and autograph. It's hanging in my daughter's closet as a reminder of a fantastic day. Eloundou always brought energy, but he always seemed to bring boots that had butter on the bottoms. The man just could not keep his feet on a sharp cut.
But you see improvement. And for a young player, that's all we ask. No, he didn't put any in the back of the net (almost, but not yet), but he came on and had an immediate, energetic, frenetic effect on the game. I'm not sure he's a 90' guy yet, but what a weapon to bring off the bench in the 70th or 75th minute for a spark.
Here's to you, Charles Eloundou! We'll always have July 11, 2015 when we Rapid fans can look back and say, "Do you remember that game by Eloundou? He's why the RMC came back to Colorado where it belongs!"