COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Scott Palguta has been used to warming up from the bench this season for the Colorado Rapids to fill in as needed in his club’s stingy defensive line.
In the Rapids’ last game against Chicago just ahead of the World Cup break, Palguta had no such luxury. Julien Baudet, who had been struggling with a knee injury before the Chicago game, went down in the fourth minute and Palguta was on.
“There was no warm up, no nothing,” Palguta told MLSsoccer.com.
The former Rochester Rhinos player, who joined he Rapids last season and enjoyed plenty of game time in 2009, relished the rest of the game, partnering Drew Moor at center back in place of Baudet.
Last season the Rapids fell to their worst away defeat of the year at Chicago, managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory having been 2-0 up with barely 20 minutes to go. Two weeks ago, a last minute equalizer from Conor Casey restored parity after Chicago had come back to lead 2-1 going into halftime.
“We should be pleased with the way we finished, given what happened last year,” he said. “We felt we did enough to win, but it was a good result in the end.”
Palguta will have more time to prepare for this weekend’s game against Houston. With Baudet also sustaining a hamstring injury recently, the 27-year-old Cornell graduate looks set to make his first start of the season on Saturday.
The Rapids enter the game trying not to lose the momentum gained from an unbeaten run of four games, including three victories. Whether Palguta starts or not, he is clearly determined to make the most of any chance he gets.
“It has been difficult for me because we have had a very solid back four,” he said. “But whether it is the fourth minute or the 88th, I am just trying to make the coach’s decision for him.”
The Rapids restart their season in Houston on Saturday at 6.30pm MT.
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