Rapids Score Early and Often in 4-0 Rout of Chivas

COMMERCE CITY CO (From MLS and Rapids Reports)- The Colorado Rapids blitzed Chivas USA with two goals in the first four minutes of the match leading the way to a key 4-0 Western Conference victory on Saturday night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
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Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni scored his first goal in more than four years during the first minute and Conor Casey announced his return from a quadriceps injury by producing a hat trick in the first half as Colorado claimed sole possession of third place in the Western Conference.
Casey who missed last week's loss against Columbus doubled the Rapids lead by the fourth minute added another goal in the 23rd minute and scored on a penalty kick during stoppage time at the end of the half to lead the Rapids to their first home victory against Chivas since 2005.
Chivas who had been idle since July 19 lost their fifth consecutive match and have scored only one goal during that span.
Fans barely had time to settle in their seats before the typically defensively-minded Mastroeni found himself alone from about 30 yards out taking a pass from Cummings after his way down the right flank had been blocked. Mastroeni launched a perfectly-placed shot beating Chivas goalkeeper Lance Parker with a perfect line drive into the top right corner of the net.
It was the first goal by the veteran midfielder since April 23 2005. Also by scoring 26 seconds into the contest Mastroeni produced the sixth-quickest goal in Major League Soccer history and the second-quickest in Rapids history eclipsed only by a goal Casey scored 16 seconds into a match at Los Angeles on April 4 earlier this season.
Parker was making his first appearance in an MLS league game after regular Chivas starting goalkeeper Zach Thornton was injured in last week's MLS All-Star Game.
Casey netted his ninth goal of the season a little more than two minutes later. Cummings flicked on a throw-in over the pulled-up Chivas backline and Casey corraled it on the edge of the area catching Parker off his line and dropping a sharply angled lob over the Chivas goalkeeper's head to give the home side a 2-0 edge.
The two goals in four minutes were one minute shy of the MLS record for the quickest two goals to start a game a feat achieved three times earlier.
Casey struck again in the 23rd minute redirecting a cross from Cummings past Parker with a simple tap-in at the left-hand post.
For Cummings it was his third assist of the game putting him far ahead in the MLS assist leaders category three ahead of Chicago's Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Houston's Brad Davis.
In stoppage time at the end of the half Cummings again created a goal though he will not get an assist for it. Breaking in alone on goal Cummings was pulled down from behind by Chivas defender Shavar Thomas which resulted in a red card for the Jamaican defender.
Casey converted the penalty kick coolly chipping the ball over Parker to give Colorado a 4-0 lead at the break.
It was the third hat trick of Casey's Rapids career and his 11th goal of the season again putting him into the lead in the MLS Golden Boot race one strike ahead of Columbus midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
After the break all that was left was to see if Cummings could add a goal to his night. The Jamaican international came close but his shot from outside the area in the 49th minute hit the crossbar drawing gasps from the crowd.
The Rapids now have a weekend off before returning to action on Aug. 23 with a trip to face the Chicago Fire. Next weekend the team will assemble to participate in the club's annual Season Ticket Holder Party meeting up with the club's most loyal fans next Saturday at a location that has been disclosed already to the Rapids' Full Season Ticket Holders.
AT&T Rapids Man of the Match: Conor Casey
Scoring Summary:
COL- Mastroeni (Cummings) 1
COL- Casey (Cummings) 4
COL- Casey (Cummings Kimura) 23
COL- Casey (penalty kick) 47+
Lineups:

Chivas USA:
Lance Parker Shavar Thomas 46+ Ante Jazic Maykel Galindo Jonathan Bornstein Jesse Marsch Sacha Kljestan (Michael Lahoud 46) Sasha Victorine (Bobby Burling 46) Gerson Mayen Marcelo Saragosa Eduardo Lillingston (Bojan Stepanovic 46)
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Sharpe Mariano Trujillo Jorge Flores Chukwudi Chijindu
Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens Jordan Harvey Cory Gibbs (Ty Harden 77) Conor Casey (Pat Noonan 71) Omar Cummings Jamie Smith Nick LaBrocca Colin Clark Pablo Mastroeni (Mehdi Ballouchy 69) Kosuke Kimura Scott Palguta
Substitutes Not Used: Preston Burpo Greg Dalby Facundo Diz Jacob Peterson
Discipline:
CHV- Marsch (caution; Delaying a Restart) 40
CHV- Thomas (ejection; Denied Goal Scoring Opportunity (Foul)) 46+
COL- Mastroeni (caution; Tactical Foul) 66
Referee: Alex Prus
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey George Gansner
Fourth Official: Ben Chouaf
Attendance: 13364
Pat Rooney covers the Rapids for MLSNet.com.