Defenders contribute to offense in Rapids comeback draw
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – It’s been an injury-riddled opening two months of the season for the Colorado Rapids, but they’ve found a way to hold serve due to contributions from unlikely sources.
Saturday night, two goals from two defenders – Tyrone Marshall in the 52nd minute and Kosuke Kimura in the 60th – helped the Rapids take a share of the points against Sporting Kansas City, despite dropping into a 2-0 deficit in under 14 minutes.
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After Saturday’s result, the Rapids now lead MLS with 10 different goal-scorers, a reflection of not only a team bombarded by injuries, but a complete squad where anyone can score at any time.
“Last game we didn’t get any goals, so we have to find goals somewhere, no matter who is scoring,” said Marshall, who scored on a header off a Martin Rivero free kick. “At the end of the day it’s a team effort, and we got a result that the team desperately needed.”
The added contributions from players like Kimura and Marshall will be even more important in the coming weeks as usual attackers like Omar Cummings and Brian Mullan continue to recover from injuries. For Kimura, who scored following a center from striker Conor Casey, the Rapids’ secret to getting goals from a full roster is the result of a simple shift in mentality.
“If there is a chance you go for it,” Kimura told MLSsoccer.com after the game. “For the header, we’ve been working on set pieces and Tyrone got it and it was great… Everyone needs to step up. If 11 guys step up, that’s 11 guys, not just one or two guys. Everyone has to be dangerous all the time. We just need to keep doing that.”
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Not only do the goals from unlikely sources contribute on the scoreboard, but they reduce the pressure on attacking players to bear the full scoring pressure. For the attacking midfielder Rivero, the ability to get goals from a full roster was particularly beneficial Saturday, as Marshall took Rivero’s pinpoint free kick and sent it top corner for a crucial score early in the second half, leading to the Rapids’ unlikely comeback from an early 2-0 hole.
“It’s good that the team gets goal from different sources,” the Argentine Rivero told MLSsoccer.com. “More than anything, it’s important to get home points and [the result] shows good character.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.