Rapids Drop 2-1 Decision To Chicago

BRIDGEVIEW IL. (Saturday April 26 2008) – The Colorado Rapids fell for the third time in their last four matches as they were on the short side of a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire Saturday night.
A victory for the Rapids would have moved them atop the Western Conference but in defeat Colorado lost for the third time in their last four games.
(To watch video highlights from this match click here).

The Rapids started the match with a new look lineup with Pablo Mastroeni Tom McManus and Kelly Gray all seeing their first starts of the season.

McManus had the contest’s first scoring opportunity in the 5th minute when after streaking down the right side his shot went into the side netting.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco gave the Fire a good early look in the 18th minute after weaving between two Colorado defenders he sent a ball right across the face of the goal that was broken up by Stephen Keel.

In the 38th minute McManus found himself alone on the right side only to see his direct shot on goal saved by Jon Busch. Chicago quickly countered taking a similar shot into the arms of Bouna Coundoul a minute later.

The end of the first half brought the match’s first dramatics with the first cards being issued as Christian Gomez was given a yellow for his tackle on Gonzalo Segares who was also carded for game disrepute. Both sides ran to their teammate’s defense as tempers flared and the half ended at 0-0.

The Fire broke through for the match’s first score in the 53rd minute when a cross rebounded off of Facundo Erpen resulting in John Thorrington sticking it in the back of the net.

Chicago nearly added to their lead three minutes later as Tomasz Frankowski’s lower corner shot was pushed wide by Coundoul. Coundoul would come up with four more saves in the second half including a beautiful save on a Blanco header and a brilliant foot save in the 63rd minute.

Thorrington added his second goal of the match in the 84th minute to build Chicago’s advantage to 2-0 on an assisted ball from Justin Mapp and Frankowski.

Colorado would cut the lead to 2-1 as McManus tallied his first goal in a Rapids kit in the 86th minute when a Christian Gomez free kick squirted through the Fire defense and the Scot redirected it into the back of Chicago's net.
The Rapids' eight goals this season have now been all scored by eight different players.

The Rapids had two more chances to equalize as a Herculez Gomez volley sailed wide right in the 89th minute and in injury time with the whole team in the attack Coundoul was able to get his head on a ball that traveled over the Fire crossbar.

Colorado will be in action again next Sunday May 4 when they return to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to host D.C. United at 1:00 pm MT in the club's FutboLucha celebration.

Scoring Summary:
CHI- Thorrington (unassisted) 56
CHI- Thorrington (Mapp Frankowski) 84
COL- McManus (C. Gomez) 86

Lineups:
Colorado Rapids- Bouna Coundoul Kelly Gray Facundo Erpen Stephen Keel Jose Burciaga Jr. (Jacob Peterson 82) Terry Cooke (Herculez Gomez 59) Christian Gomez Nick LaBrocca Pablo Mastroeni (Rafael Gomes 70) Colin Clark Tom McManus.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Sharpe Kosuke Kimura Medhi Ballouchy Omar Cummings

Chicago Fire – Jon Busch Brandon Prideaux Diego Gutierrez Bakary Soumare Gonzalo Segares John Thorrington Cuauhtemoc Blanco Logan Pause Justin Mapp (Wilman Conde 89) Tomasz Frankowski (Calen Carr 85) Chad Barrett (Stephen King 79)
Substitutes Not Used: Nick Noble Dasan Robinson Chris Rolfe Andy Herron

Misconduct Summary:
COL- C. Gomez (Reckless Foul) 45
CHI- Segares (Game Disrepute) 45
COL- H. Gomez (Persistent Infringement) 65
COL- Gray (Dissent) 66
CHI- Gutierrez (Dissent) 88

Referee: Tim Weyland
Referees Assts.: Corey Rockwell Steven Taylor
Fourth Official: Ricardo Salazar
Attendance: 14251