As this match on and Sporting Kansas City equalized, I think most Colorado Rapids fans were thinking, here we go. But that is what happened. The Rapids were able to get a late goal from Shkelzen Gashi off a wonderful strike by Dillon Serna. This propelled the Rapids to a 2–1 road win.
The match was rather quiet in the first half, the teams were feeling each other out and there were a bunch of turnovers. And one of the turnovers led to the Rapids taking a 1–0 lead late in the first half. Marco Pappa stole the ball and played in Luis Solignac who scored a beautiful goal.
The match stayed that way until the 77’ when Dom Dwyer got loose in the box and was able to easily head home a cross. The Rapids were parking the proverbial bus and for some reason let Dwyer get free. After that goal Sporting KC was coming for the Rapids. But they didn’t expect Dillon Serna to take a shot.
No one closed down Serna as the Rapids were just trying to keep possession for a bit. He unleashed a knuckling ball that dipped once it was past Tim Melia and came back off the crossbar. Shkelzen Gashi didn’t just stand and watch. He followed the shot in and was able to skip it past Melia.
This gave the Rapids 3 points on the road against the team that was top of the table coming into it. You add this to the depleted roster, dressing only 15 players, this was something that was unexpected.
Let’s see how things change for the Rapids as Jermaine Jones joins the squad.
Here is how I saw the match.
Zac MacMath - 4 (4.61) MacMath had a decent match but made too many errors and seemed indecisive on a couple plays that almost cost the Rapids the 3 points. I think he may be pressing so far. Hope he relaxes and calms down. He is a good goalie.
Dillon Serna - 6 (7.04) Dillon got into a good position and had a moment of greatness on that shot. Otherwise you could see the rust, but that came off as the match went along. A few turnovers early in the match. If he continues to get playing time, I think that rust will go away.
Bobby Burling - 5 (6.16) Burling was working with a patched together backline and communication and familiarity was missing at points during this match. He should have stayed with Dwyer when he scored, but letting him go and not making sure Mekeil Williams would come and help was a mistake. Besides that, it was a decent match.
Eric Miller - 6 (6.67) Miller had a decent night moving over to the center back. He had played that before so it wasn’t all completely foreign to him. He defended well and didn’t make that big mistake. He gives the Rapids some versatility on the backline.
Marc Burch - 6 (6.41) Burch did well in the first half and balanced getting up in the attack and staying back to help protect the inexperienced defense. Thought I don’t see him as the full-time starter, he does provide the experience needed for the younger backline and depth.
Sam Cronin - 6 (6.43) Cronin had a decent evening in a physical match, a match where he needed to be physical. He even did that with out committing a foul.
Micheal Azira - 7 (6.65) A decent effort by Azira as he did well helping protect the backline and distributing the ball.
Shkelzen Gashi - 8 (7.84) He clears the ball of the line by cheating a little bit off the post and then scores the game winner in the 82’, putting in the rebound off Serna’s shot. He sniped that one, but that is what good goal scorers do, anticipate where the ball will be going and following up on shots. Let’s hope his scoring continues.
Marco Pappa - 7 (7.76) Pappa was more active and moving in this match. He made a good play to steal the ball and play Solignac into a good space on the opening goal. In the second half he was forced to defend more and that took options away from him and that tired him out. It was good to sub him off in the 69’.
Luis Solignac - 7 (7.57) Luis held up the play well all evening and timed his run beautifully on the goal. He got he feed from Pappa and went near post on Melia who looked to be cheating far post.
Mekeil Williams - 4 (6.22) Williams came on for Pappa in the 69’ and dropped in to right back. This allowed Serna to move up to midfield and help stabilize the backline. On the Sporting KC goal, he should have come over to mark Dwyer.
Conor Doyle - N/A (6.09) Doyle came on in the 89’ for Gashi.
That's how I saw the match. What are your thoughts?