The final match at home in 2022 proved the perfect ending for the Colorado Rapids on a season they missed out on the playoffs, but a day played excellently and with a final curtain call for a Colorado Legend. The home side sent fans home on a high note following a complete 1-0 win in a very 2021-esque team victory.
Colorado came out with an adjusted backline as Lalas Abubakar (suspension) and Danny Wilson (bench-injury) gave way to Keegan Rosenberry and Gustavo Vallecilla in central defense, as well as Max stepping in for an injured Jack Price, and Michael Barrios spelling Jonathan Lewis on the day.
Quite frankly, the Rapids started on the front foot and kept pushing Dallas back into their defending third most of the first half. Barrios was having a field day running in behind his former team down the right side early and had the best chance of following a stellar cross from Lucas Estevez on the left.
A loose ball in the 23rd minute by Vallecilla resulted in play coming right back into Colorado’s box from Dallas as William Yarbrough had to go way off his line to challenge. However, Obrian pipped the ball by his right, and the shot was headed to the right side, except for Rosenberry patrolling the goalmouth and knocking it away to remain scoreless.
Overall in the first frame, Colorado looked stout with that different backline. Veteran Steven Beitashour was in great position most of that time, and the Rosenberry/Vallecilla partnership did well for the most part to keep the majority of balls getting into tough spots. In the 44th minute, a nice give-and-go between Diego Rubio and Gyasi Zardes almost resulted in the first score. Zardes took the last touch, fading to the left side of the goal, but his blast went into the side-netting.
The Rapids continued their pressing front three to start the second half, with Barrios, Zardes, Rubio and even Estevez coming up looking for the opening score. However, possession lost by Max in a dangerous spot gave Ferriera the ball with space to go at Colorado’s defense. He tried to bend past Yarbrough’s far post, but it glanced off the upper 90 and away for a goal kick.
A nice break by Colorado saw Rubio running away in the middle at minute 55 and finding Sam Nicholson inside the right side of the box. Sammy’s touch back inside set himself up nicely, but his driven shot was parried away by a diving Paes for e corner kick.
In the 61st minute, a scrumptious buildup between Rubio and Nicholson again almost grabbed the lead for Colorado. The two attackers worked a slick give and go on the right edge of the box, with Rubio getting the excellent look at goal, but it was tipped away side netting and a corner kick by inches.
In the 66th minute, Rubio hammered a shot quickly past Paes to the left side and the 1-0 lead. A wonderful bit of vision by Barrios on the right side found Diego all the way across on the left with plenty of time for him to size up the net and blast home the lead.
Nervy moments in the 75th minute saw Lletget miss an absolute sitter inside the left side of Colorado’s box. His placed ball got by an onrushing Yarbrough but went wide right to keep the Rapids in front.
As the Rapids brought on fresh legs in Lewis, Darren Yapi, and Bryan Acosta to see the game out, the home faithful only wanted to see one man come off the bench for Colorado. With the C38 end of the stadium breaking into chants of “we want Moor,” the final appearance by Drew Moor in MLS became a reality after Vallecilla was red-carded for a dangerous tackle in the 77th minute.
Drew ended the match and his career in typical workman-like style, clearing headers into the box and teaming up on the backline that preserved the shutout win for Colorado.