Commerce City, Colo. – On a night when the Rapids honored Pablo Mastroeni for becoming the team’s all-time leader in games played, another players quietly also reached a new team milestone.
Rapids forward Conor Casey’s 35th minute strike against New England last Saturday was his 39th goal with the Rapids since joining the club in 2007, tying him with Paul Bravo for most in team history.
“It is big honor,” said Casey after the game. “There have been a lot of great forwards that have played here like (Paul) Bravo, (John) Spencer and (Jeff) Cunningham. This is my fourth season here and to know that I have more seasons here to build on that makes it exciting for me and especially being here from Denver.”
The goal was Casey’s 10th of the season, which marked the third straight season in which Casey has scored 10 or more goals. No other player in team history scored at least 10 goals more than twice in their Rapids careers.
“It feels good to be scoring goals and to be doing it at home,” said the Colorado-native, who attended Denver South High School. “We hadn’t been (scoring) earlier in the season, so it is good to be doing this at this time of the year.”
Casey registered his 39th career goal in his 82nd appearance for the club, while Bravo totaled 39 in 135 games.
He is tied with Cummings for the team lead with 10 goals apiece, and each has scored in the last three home games.
“There was never any doubt that these guys could find the back of the net,” said Smith of the two forwards. “They look sharp, look confident."
Smith added the Casey’s performance was, “perfect center forward play.”
The Rapids have shutout the last four teams that have visited Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, including three consecutive 3-0 clean sheets.
“When you start off games like we have with the last three home games scoring quickly, goals seem to come easier,” said Casey. “It is definitely something you want to recreate every time you come out and play.”
Mastroeni received a framed jersey prior to the New England match for having played in his team record 179th game on the road at New York the previous week.
Casey has six games left this season to score one more goal to become the team’s all-time leader in goals, starting on Saturday when the Rapids visit Real Salt Lake.