Rapids Fall to Chivas USA 2-1

COMMERCE CITY CO. (Saturday May 24 2008) – The Colorado Rapids were unable to distance themselves atop the Western Conference standings as they fell to Chivas USA 2-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Saturday night.
(To watch video highlights from the match click here).
(Update: The Rapids Reserves registered their first win of the season the next morning earning a 2-1 victory over the Chivas USA Reserves Sunday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Conor Casey and guest player Daniel Antunez each scored for the Rapids. For a full match recap click here.)
Despite managing only three shots on goal the entire game Chivas USA came away with their first road victory of the season and kept the Rapids from winning back-to-back games in three tries this year.
The Rapids’ Facundo Erpen had the game’s first scoring opportunity in the 25th minute when he nearly had his second goal of the season. Herculez Gomez tracked down a corner kick and put the ball back across where Erpen’s header was nicely saved by Brad Guzan.
In the 32nd minute Guzan was again up to the task as he stopped a Christian Gomez free kick from 21 yards out.
Chivas USA broke through for the game’s first score in the final minute of the first half. Jesse Marsch took a pass from Justin Braun who picked up a poor clearance and found enough space in the penalty area to get a shot off that Bouna Coundoul was unable to stop. It was Chivas’s only shot on goal in the first half.
In the second half Christian Gomez forced another save from Guzan in the 65th minute. The Argentine hustled to reach a corner kick on the touchline then spun around one defender before firing a low shot that Guzan dove to save.
In the 69th minute Coundoul was nearly caught off his line but was able to reach high enough to put the shot from Braun over the goal for a corner kick.
Chivas widened their lead when Jorge Flores scored his second goal in as many games in the 78th minute when he headed home a free kick from Carey Talley.
In the 80th minute the Rapids pulled a goal back off the right foot of Tom McManus. The Scottish forward received a pass from Rafael Gomes 35 yards from goal turned and hit a rocket past the diving Guzan for what surely will be the MLS Goal of the Week.
The end of the match saw the Rapids applying heavy pressure up front with a three forward look as Conor Casey saw his first action of the season coming in the 84th minute but Chivas USA was able to hold on for the victory.
Colorado will now prepare for a busy week with two games in the next seven days. On Tuesday May 27 at 8:30 pm MT the Rapids will travel to Los Angeles for a "play-in" game of the US Open Cup against the Galaxy then return home for a Sunday afternoon contest versus FC Dallas on June 1 at 1:00pm MT.
Man of the Match: Tom McManus
Scoring Summary:
CHV- Marsch (Braun) 45
CHV- Flores (Talley) 79
COL – McManus 80
Lineups:
Colorado Rapids – Bouna Coundoul Kosuke Kimura Ugo Ihemelu Facundo Erpen Jacob Peterson (Tom McManus 58) Pablo Mastroeni (Rafael Gomes 53) Nick LaBrocca Colin Clark Christian Gomez (Conor Casey 84) Omar Cummings Heculez Gomez
Substitutes not used: Preston Burpo Mehdi Ballouchy Terry Cooke Jordan Harvey
Chivas USA – Brad Guzan Paulo Nagamura Bobby Burling Jim Curtain Carey Talley Sacha Kljestan Jorge Flores Jesse Marsch Fransisco Mendoza Atiba Harris (Ante Razov 70) Justin Braun (Eric Ebert 88)
Substitutes Not Used: Kraig Chiles Anthony Hamilton Daniel Paladini Kieth Savage Dan Kennedy
Misconduct Summary:
CHV – Marsch (Caution) 11
COL – Clark (Caution) 28
COL – Ihemelu (Caution) 71
CHV – Razov (Caution) 92+
CHV- Guzan (Delaying a Restart) 93+
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referees Assts.: Greg Barkey; Paul Scott
Fourth Official: Ben Chouaf
Attendance: 14619