Three months ago, Deshorn Brown (above left) and Dillon Powers (right) were busy wrapping up their senior and junior years of college, respectively.
On Saturday night, the duo was busy dazzling in their professional debut.
The Colorado Rapids lost their season opener to FC Dallas by a 1-0 count, but head coach Oscar Pareja left the field impressed with the play of his two youngsters.
“You want to have the result, but with this philosophy that we have here we’re not afraid to throw the young guys in there, because they deserve it,” Pareja said after the game at FC Dallas Stadium. “I thought the performance today by Dillon Powers and Deshorn Brown was great.”
Brown denied by Dallas GK
Brown and Powers didn’t look like 22-year-old rookies making their first MLS starts, as they were on Saturday. In fact, in the 13th minute, the two linked up for arguably the Rapids’ best chance on goal on the night. Powers chested down a ball at midfield, turned and lifted a perfect pass to Brown, whose ensuing effort on goal was well saved by FC Dallas goalkeeper Raúl Fernández.
“I was hoping he could’ve tapped that one in,” Powers told MLSsoccer.com by phone postgame. “I think we’re just really excited and happy to get time and Oscar made a use for us. Coming into the team we feel really welcomed.”
Brown and Powers were in the lineup primarily due to injuries, as regular center forward Edson Buddle is battling knee problems while attacking midfielder Martín Rivero is out with a broken foot. But both rookies still had to win their spots in the preseason, fending off veterans en route to opening-day starts.
And if Saturday is anything to go off, Powers and Brown – who roomed together in Dallas – will not only contend for a spot in the Rapids lineup next week, but for years to come.
“Overall, I really enjoyed the experience, and now I’ve just got to keep at it,” Powers said.
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.