Rapids Tie Franchise Scoring Record in 5-4 Victory Over New York

EAST RUTHERFORD NJ (9/27/08) – The Colorado Rapids tonight remained in playoff position by winning a back-and-forth affair with the New York Red Bulls 5-4 with a 90th minute goal from Conor Casey his third of the night.
With the victory the Rapids handed New York their first home loss at the Meadowlands since May of this year.

Casey completed his hat trick in the final minute of regular time when he flicked a Mehdi Ballouchy cross into the far corner of the goal as the Rapids broke out on a counterattack.
(To watch free video highlights from this match click here).

Colorado’s five goals in the game and four in the first half tied club records and set the backdrop for this season’s most entertaining match. The last time the Rapids achieved both feats was a 5-2 victory over the New England Revolution on May 22 2002.

Casey scored in the 11th 45th and 90th minutes to record the first hat trick scored by a former Colorado high school athlete in franchise history.

Two defensive errors in the first five minutes gave the game a quick 1-1 start. Casey ran onto a bounding ball in the third minute and took a shot that was saved by a charging Jon Conway. Omar Cummings got to the rebound first and slotted the ball between two defenders and into the net.

Two minutes later an errant back pass by Cory Gibbs was picked up by Mike Magee who scored to even the contest.

Casey would get his first goal of the night after Cummings found him at the top of the penalty area. The Denver South grad split two defenders and struck the ball past Conway with the outside of his right foot before falling to the ground.

Eleven minutes was the second fastest time it has taken the Rapids to score their opening two goals. The fastest came on May 31 1998 when Ross Paule scored in the fifth and sixth minutes against Kansas City at Mile High Stadium.
Despite leading 2-1 after just 11 minutes the Rapids found themselves trailing 3-2 after Juan Pablo Angel scored a penalty kick in the 34th minute and Dane Richards gave New York the lead in the 40th minute.

Former New York standout and current Colorado defender Mike Petke scored his second goal in the past four games in the 43rd minute when he collected a poor clearance on the back post cut around a defender and roofed a shot with his left foot.
The easiest of Casey’s three goals arguably came when he converted a penalty kick in the 45th minute after Nick LaBrocca was fouled in the New York penalty area a minute before.

It looked as though the Rapids would have to settle for just a single point in the 74th minute when Macoumba Kandji found Matthew Mbuta with his pinpoint cross from the right hand side to knot the game up at 4-4.
However just in the dying minutes of the match Ballouchy fired off his cross that Casey hammered into the back of the net to seal the victory for the Rapids and give the visitors an important 3 points on the road in their push toward the playoffs.

Colorado will return home this week to take on MLS's two-time defending champion Houston Dynamo at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park this Saturday October 4 at 7:30 p.m. MT.

Scoring Summary:
COL – Cummings (unassisted) 3
NY – Magee (unassisted) 5
COL – Casey (Cummings) 11
NY- Angel (penalty kick) 34
NY – Richards (Pietravallo Rojas) 40
COL – Petke (unassisted) 43
COL – Casey (penalty kick) 45
NY – Mbuta (Kandji) 74
COL – Casey (Ballouchy) 90

Lineups:

Colorado Rapids:
Preston Burpo Kosuke Kimura Cory Gibbs Mike Petke Jordan Harvey Pablo Mastroeni Nick LaBrocca (Terry Cooke 79) Mehdi Ballouchy (Jacob Peterson 90+) Colin Clark Conor Casey Omar Cummings (Greg Dalby 85)
Substitutes not used: Bouna Coundoul Jose Burciaga Jr. Christian Gomez Ugo Ihemelu

New York Red Bulls: Jon Conway Jeff Parke Gabriel Cichero (Andrew Boyens 45) Diego Jimenez Dane Richards (Macoumba Kandji 55) Juan Pietravallo Jorge Rojas Seth Stammler Carlos Mendes (Matthew Mbuta 70) Mike Magee Juan Pablo Angel
Substitutes Not Used: Danny Cepero Chris Leitch Sinisa Ubipatipovic John Wolyniec
Misconduct Summary:
COL – LaBrocca (Caution) 13
COL – Casey (Caution) 35
NY – Mendes (Caution) 61
NY – Boyens (Caution) 67
NY – Jimenez (Caution) 75
COL – Peterson (Caution) 90+
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referees Assts.: Anthony Vasoli; Nate Clement
Fourth Official: Lee Suckle