Rapids Move Atop Western Conference with 1-0 Victory Over New England

FOXBOROUGH MA (Saturday April 12 2008) – The Colorado Rapids recorded their second victory of the season tonight defeating the New England Revolution 1-0 at Gillette Stadium. Nick LaBrocca’s first career goal in the 68th minute proved to be the difference maker.
(To watch video highlights from this match click here).

The win by Colorado was the first time a road team had won in the series between the two clubs since July 24 2002 when the Rapids claimed a 3-2 victory in Foxborough.

The game’s first scoring opportunity came quickly as New England’s Adam Cristman sent his header over the crossbar in the second minute.

Colorado had the first of the half’s best two scoring chances when in the 11th minute Omar Cummings nearly caught Matt Reis with a near post goal.

Around the mid-point of the first half a hard rain that had delayed the Red Sox and Yankees game earlier in the evening came pouring into Gillette Stadium making the synthetic playing surface more challenging for both clubs.

The Rapids nearly broke the scoreless tie in the 22nd minute when Christian Gomez took a rebounded shot off Reis then saw his shot ultimately saved by Jay Heaps who had fallen back into position to protect the unmanned goal.

The Revolution controlled much the of the remaining time before the break as Bouna Coundoul would stop a couple of Kenny Mansally shots to preserve a 0-0 tie at the half.

The second half began for Colorado with Tom McManus up front who was signed by the team just three days earlier replacing Gomez in the lineup.

New England again started the half quickly when on a set piece from the left side of the Rapids' box in the 48th minute Mauricio Castro took a shot on goal that hit the crossbar.

Colorado finally broke through and found the back of the net when Nick LaBrocca headed in a Jose Luis Burciaga Jr. free kick in the 68th minute. The goal was the first career score for the second-year player from Rutgers sending the Rapids' faithful back in Colorado watching at the official Away Game Viewing Party at GB's Fish & Chips into celebration.

The Revolution nearly tied the score with two opportunities beautifully saved by Coundoul. The first came on a header from Mansally that sent Coundoul flying back into his net. New England’s next chance came in the 82nd minute from a Kheli Dube shot that was again smothered by the Rapids’ ‘keeper.

Coundoul and company would hold tight through four minutes of added time as the Rapids earned their second win of the season and moved atop of the Western Conference.

The Rapids will be in action again next Saturday April 19 when they return to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to take on the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 pm MT.

Scoring Summary:
COL- LaBrocca (Burciaga Jr.) 68

Lineups:
Colorado Rapids- Bouna Coundoul Kosuke Kimura (Kelly Gray 81) Facundo Erpen Stephen Keel Jose Burciaga Jr. Terry Cooke Colin Clark John DiRaimondo Nick LaBrocca Christian Gomez (Tom McManus 45) Omar Cummings (Herculez Gomez 78)
Substitutes Not Used: Rafael Gomes Chris Sharpe Jordan Harvey Jacob Peterson

New England Revolution – Matt Reis Jay Heaps Michael Parkhurst Amaechi Igwe Sainey Nyassi (Argenis Fernandez 45) Mauricio Castro Shalrie Joseph Jeff Larentowicz Khano Smith Adam Cristman (Kheli Dube 76) Kenny Mansally
Substitutes Not Used: Doug Warren Gary Flood Joe Franchino Chase Hilgenbrinck Chris Albright

Misconduct Summary:
NE – Igwe (Caution) 17
COL- Kimura (Caution) 39
COL- Erpen (Caution) 65
COL- Cooke (Caution) 79
COL- Clark (Caution) 93+

Referee: Mark Geiger
Referees Assts.: Kermit Quisenberry Anthony Vasoli
Fourth Official: Jozef Batko
Attendance: 8309