We were hoping that the 10-day break would have given the Colorado Rapids time to recover and regroup, and something worked, as the Burgundy Boys were able to come back from being down twice tonight to get all three points for the first time since April.
The starting lineup included Jack McBean and left Joe Mason and Shkelzen Gashi on the bench yet again. McBean had a great game last week for sure, but does one great game from a $69,000/year player justify leaving $2.225 million on the bench? (In my opinion, it does not.)
Both teams got a couple of shots off and Howard had some big saves, but Miguel Ibarra put Minnesota on the scoreboard first in the 20th minute. The goal was... ugh.
Marlon Hairston went down with an injury in the 5th minute and had to be subbed out later in the 33rd minute. Enzo Martinez came in for Hairston, moving into the midfield and pushing Sam Nicholson out to wingback.
Dominique Badji went down towards the end of the first half and it looked as though he might’ve been subbed out, too, but he stayed in and then stuck it out in the second half.
There were no substitutions to start the second half, and Edgar Castillo got one back for the Burgundy Boys in the 50th minute with a great strike into the upper right corner.
The goal seemed to give the Rapids some energy, but the backline got absolutely smoked by Miguel Ibarra 14 minutes later. Ibarra drew out Tim Howard and passed it across the box to Christian Ramirez (who apparently blew past the back line) and had an easy shot in an open net to put up MNUFC 2-1.
By the 74th minute, head coach Anthony Hudson had used all his subs.
Interestingly enough (see salary note above), Shkelzen Gashi linked up with Joe Mason just a minute after Mason subbed in to get another goal for the Rapids and tie up the game 2-2. In the aftermath, Ibarra hit Danny Wilson in the back/back of the head and was shown a red after a video review.
Minnesota played out the rest of the game down a man and packed it in for the next 13 minutes.
With six minutes of stoppage time added, it was tense to say the least. In 90’+7’, Tyrone Mears conceded a corner and the ref allowed it. Tommy Smith found the back of the net on the very last play of the game. He may have jumped over a defender a bit and the goal was reviewed, but it stood and the Rapids finished the night 3-2.