When Tim Howard was listed on the injury report, we expected to see Clint Irwin get his first start back in burgundy, but I don’t know if anyone guessed that Kei Kamara or Jack Price would’ve sat this one out. Kellyn Acosta wore the captain’s armband in Howard’s place.
Speaking of our team captain, Howard was spotted in the stands in Memphis. If he had a legitimate injury, then sure, do whatever you want, but I would’ve expected him to maybe show up in the stands in Chester, PA. Howard is listed as a minority owner of Memphis FC.
Between the weather and the new starting XI, the Rapids spent most of the first half settling in and getting used to each other.
Philadelphia defender Raymon Gaddis blasted a shot after the Union’s sixth corner kick that was so close many thought it had gone in, but luckily the ball hit the side netting. The Rapids’ first corner kick was in the 25th minute, and Nicolas Mezquida got a shot off but it went high.
In the 26th minute, Jamiro Monteiro toe-poked it to a wide-open Sergio Santos a the top of the 18-yard-box. Santos dribbled in and was one-on-one against Clint Irwin. Santos’ shot made it to the back of the net, putting the Union up 1-0.
Throughout the half, the Rapids were able to get moments of pressure, but they only had one shot on goal (to be fair, the Union only had two). Colorado got through the half without committing a single foul, though, as Marcelo Balboa said on the broadcast, the game could easily get ugly and chippy based on the play we were seeing.
Philadelphia looked dangerous from the very beginning of the second half, keeping Irwin and the defense on their toes. Luckily, the Rapids held them off.
The Burgundy Boys didn’t get a decent shot off until the 60th minute, when Mezquida went for it from about 25 yards out and hit the post. In the 63rd minute, Jonathan Lewis came in for Johan Blomberg and within two minutes had a great shot that went just wide of the right post.
After a quick throw-in from Rubio in the 71st minute, Andre Shinyashiki took a few dribbles and found Lewis over near the far post. Lewis one-timed a volley and got it past Union goalkeeper Andre Blake to tie it up 1-1.
They may not have had any fouls called in the first half, but Diego Rubio and Lalas Abubakar both earned yellows early in the second half.
Towards the end of the game, the Rapids parked five players in the back. In the first minute of stoppage time, the ball squeaked through but Irwin got a hand on it and then the ball was cleared. Monteiro chipped a ball over the defense to Kacper Przybylko, who hit it over the crossbar.
But when the final whistle blew, the Rapids were able to get a point from the second-best team in the Eastern Conference. The unbeaten streak continues!