After the Colorado Rapids left it late in their 2020 MLS season opener in their victory against DC United last week, they followed that up with a late header from Drew Moor (off a corner kick from Jack Price, naturally) in the 2020 home opener to defeat Orlando City 2-1 before an enthusiastic crowd at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Here are some Rapid Recalls from Saturday’s game:
We always have to begin with stats, right?
- Orlando City outshot Colorado 14-12, yet both had the same amount of shots on target (5).
- Colorado out-possessed Orlando City 55-45—that’s two games in a row. While I do not have the statistics in front of me, my gut feeling is that it’s been a while since the last time the Rapids won the possession battle two games in a row. But the eyeball test indicates that the Rapids have a plan, have a solid build-up, maintain their form, show defensive discipline, and are a continuous threat offensively. Most Rapids supporters will take it.
So glad Namli is a part of the burgundy family
Rapids forward Younes Namli showed his quality Saturday night. His ability to move in tight spaces and shed defenders with his “now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t” moves proved why the Rapids were so high on his acquisition. His goal in the 64th minute put that on full display. Even in traffic, his ability to pull the trigger on goal left Orlando keeper Pedro Gallese wrong-footed. The Rapids front office should be commended for obtaining Namli.
You wanted Moor...
Drew Moor and fellow defender Lalas Abubakar have demonstrated a terrific partnership in central defense, but everyone is still buzzing about Moor’s header (winner!) in the 90th minute. Judging from Twitter, some forgot that this was a significant strength to his game. Even with 36-year-old legs, he demonstrated that there are still plenty of “hops” and a nose for the ball to make him a serious threat on set-pieces in the 18.
But all game, Moor closed down defenders and stopped scoring threats from the Lions. A couple of times, Moor covered for Abubakar when he made some missteps in the back. This epitomizes the partnership necessary for teams to remain solid on defense and help make the Rapids a playoff contender.
Nicholson struggled on the wing
Forward Sam Nicholson is such a good player with tremendous speed and that puts necessary pressure on the opponent’s backline, but on Saturday night, he struggled. With every cross except one, he seemed to skid them along the DSGP grass rather than put some air underneath them to give our players a chance. Sadly, Orlando City had way too many legs to navigate through with that approach. I have every confidence he will pull things together and have a better outing next game. The Rapids need his speed on the wing to complement Andre Shinyashiki on the opposite side.
Clint Irwin stood tall
Rapids Nation applauded the acquisition of goalkeeper William Yarbrough from Club Leon of Liga MX. He is a veteran goalkeeper with a good run of success, brought in to put pressure on and bring competition to the keeper position.
Yet, Irwin stood tall this weekend. He played an unbelievable game with four saves and providing expert organization in the back. Competition? Bring it on, he says!
(By the way, this speaks to the tremendous depth we have as a team—another component Rapids supporters haven’t seen in a while.)
A personal note
I gave up my season tickets after the 2019 season, due to my oldest heading off to college and a need to pinch every penny. I still plan on attending a good number of games, but my seats were over in 121 for six years. I liked those seats.
This past game, I sat in 116, right beside 117 and the C38 Supporters’ Group. We loved sitting next to supporters that care. I was so pumped after the game that I could hardly sleep.
Thank you, C38, for continually driving our supporter base to cheer—but also doing so with class.
Now, where can I find a C38 scarf?
What were your takeaways from #COLvORL?