1-1 Tie vs. Red Bulls Keeps Rapids on Path to Playoffs; Everything Comes Down to Saturday's Match

DENVER (Saturday Oct. 7 2006) – The Colorado Rapids dominated the New York Red Bulls tonight but were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against the Eastern Conference team to remain in playoff position in their final regular season game ever played at Invesco Field at Mile High.

(To view video highlights from this match CLICK HERE).

With the tie the Rapids maintain their distance above Real Salt Lake for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference with one game remaining. Colorado heads to Houston to take on the Dynamo knowing that a draw will secure their playoff future although they can still move into third place in the West with a victory and a Chivas USA loss to Real Salt Lake.

Jacob Peterson scored the first goal in the fourth minute when Thiago Martins got wrapped up with a New York defender just inside the box. The New York defender dragged down Martins for a penalty but referee Brian Hall correctly signaled for the advantage to contine and Peterson came from behind Martins as he went down and drilled the ball into the goal.

Josmer Altidore played a quick restart in the 17th minute that nearly caught the Rapids sleeping. He played a ball to Amado Guevara who passed the ball to John Wolyniec who was dispossessed by Hunter Freeman. The ball came back to Guevara and his shot went past Joe Cannon but Terry Cooke came in to save the shot before it went into the open net.

Freeman came up big against Wolyniec again in the 24th minute. Altidore played a through ball to Wolyniec but Freeman came in and kicked the ball right from his feet with a wonderful tackle.

Rapids assist leader Terry Cooke played a ball into the box in the 30th minute that Martins headed. The Brazilian’s header looped over New York goalie Jon Conway but hit off the crossbar.

Guevara equalized in the 60th minute for New York. The former MVP collected a loose ball in the box and put it in the far side netting past Cannon.

In the 66th minute Martins came inches from putting Colorado back on top. His shot off a nice Kyle Beckerman pass went just wide of the post.

In the 70th minute the Rapids had an indirect free kick in the Red Bulls' penalty area after Conway handled a back pass from his own defender. Beckerman stepped up and drilled the shot home sending the Rapids' faithful into delirium but referee Brian Hall called the goal back indicating the Rapids had taken the shot too quickly. On the second attempt all 11 New York players were on the goal line and the Rapids' shot could not get through.

Aitor Karanka’s free kick in the 84th went through the New York wall but was stopped by Conway.

In second half stoppage time Beckerman played a ball into the box that Melvin Tarley waited to play but when he did Conway flashed his hand and stopped the ball securing a draw for New York and a missed opportunity for the home team to secure a victory and 3 points.

The Rapids will close out the MLS Regular Season this Saturday Oct. 14 when they travel to Houston to take on the Dynamo in a 6:30 p.m. kickoff. The game can be seen live on HDNet and the Rapids announced the club will hold an official away-game viewing party at the British Bulldog for the match.

Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Thiago Martins

Scoring Summary:
COL – Peterson (Martins Freeman) 4
NY – Guevara (unassisted) 60

LINEUPS:

Colorado Rapids – Joe Cannon Hunter Freeman Mike Petke Aitor Karanka Dan Gargan Jacob Peterson Kyle Beckerman Pablo Mastroeni Terry Cooke Nicolas Hernandez Thiago Martins (Melvin Tarley 71)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Jordan Colin Clark Eric Denton Fabrice Noel Daniel Wasson Chris Wingert

New York Red Bulls- Jon Conway Seth Stammler Carlos Mendes Jeff Parke Peter Canero Dema Kovalenko Amado Guevara Danny O’Rourke Chris Henderson (Markus Schopp 58) Josmer Altidore John Wolyniec (Edson Buddle 46 Mike Magee 69)
Substitutes Not Used: Tony Meola Todd Dunivant Taylor Graham Joe Vide

Misconduct Summary:
NY – Mendes (Caution) 35
COL – Freeman (Caution) 38
NY – Kovalenko (Caution) 38
NY – Canero (Caution) 79
COL – Gargan (Caution) 85
COL – Petke (Caution) 90+
COL – Petke (Ejection) 90+

Referee: Brian Hall
Referee's Assts: George Gansner David Bragg
4th Official: Colin Tait
Attendance: 14615