2013 Top Moment #4: Victory in Montreal
In looking back at 2013, we polled the ColoradoRapids.com staff and asked them to pick their top five Colorado soccer moments of the year. #5 - Awards and Recognition. #4 - Victory in Montreal
When the Rapids traveled to face the Impact for a match on June 29, the mood in the Colorado locker room was tense. A slow start to the season (0-3-2 in March) had moved on to a strong April/May (5-1-2), but then the Rapids tied Dallas at home before losing three straight, including a 3-0 drubbing at Portland in the match leading up to the visit to Quebec.
Montreal, on the other hand, was flying. The Impact held a 9-3-2 record, were in sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference, and felt nearly invincible at home, holding an undefeated 6-0-1 record at Stade Saputo. The Impact had all the momentum and confidence heading into the match on June 29.
Despite that backdrop, it was the Rapids that struck first in the match. In the 24th minute, Dillon Powers directed a set piece into the area, and Atiba Harris looped a header into the side netting. However, Montreal soon eased their fans' nerves, scoring two quick goals just before the end of the first half to gain the lead.
Colorado stuck around. In the 59th minute, Nathan Sturgis played a cross into the box, and Powers hammered a perfect low shot to the near post for the equalizer. Montreal got their lead back in the 72nd minute, but just five minutes later, Deshorn Brown volleyed home a Chris Klute cross to tie the game at three.
The Impact then pushed for a winner, and the fans at Saputo seemed to expect it - but Colorado flipped the script. Five minutes into injury time, the Rapids cleared a set piece out of their box toward Davy Arnaud near midfield, and Klute appeared out of nowhere to steal the ball with a hard sliding tackle.
The defender started charging down the field, leading a 2-v-1 with Brown to his left and Montreal's Patrice Bernier between them. Klute tried to find Brown, and the chance seemed lost when his pass went directly to Bernier, but the Impact player couldn't get much on his clearance. The ball popped out to Tony Cascio, who blasted a shot from the 18 which deflected into the net. The goal was made sweeter because Cascio had admitted fault at a missed opportunity in injury time in Chicago two weeks earlier, which would've turned a loss into a tie.
The repercussions from the match were felt strongly by both teams. The Rapids immediately found their form, with the win starting a nine-game unbeaten streak. Meanwhile, Montreal went winless in their next four games and finished the season 5-10-5. The invincibility at home disappeared as well: the final 10 matches for the Impact at Stade Saputo gave the Impact a 4-4-2 record. For the Rapids, Stade Saputo only holds good memories.