COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- It was a perfectly clear night at Dick’s Sporting Park on Saturday night, until it started to rain goals for a 10-minute span in a 2-2 draw between FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids.
After a scoreless opening 50 minutes of play, Colorado and Dallas went on a scoring frenzy, compiling four goals in just 10 minutes to account for all the fireworks on the evening. Harris started the scoring with his third goal of the season in the 56th and it was capped with Perez finishing his brace in the 66th.
Despite the draw, Dallas stays atop the MLS standings with 28 points, while Colorado moved into a level mark with the LA Galaxy on points in the West.
After a stale and physical opening half hour, the first real chance for either side didn’t arrive until the 38th minute, when Rapids defender Drew Moor recovered just in time to block Fabian Castillo’s near-breakaway in the box and clear the ball away from danger.
But after dominating possession in the opening half, the Rapids were rewarded quickly on the other side of the break. Marvell Wynne’s throw-in near the touchline went straight into the center of the box, and Harris followed with a clean header right into the corner of the net for the 1-0 advantage in the 56th.
But five minutes later, and the visitors had their reply, with an assist from lady luck. Clearing away a Dallas cross, Harris’ header deflected off a teammate and straight to Perez, who fired into the corner of the net to beat Rapids ‘keeper Clint Irwin and to even the game up at one in the 61st minute.
But little did either side know that the scoring bonanza had only just begun. A looping cross into the box from Rapids left back Chris Klute was met by a wide open Harris, who had a simple finish for his second goal of the game and his fourth goal of the season overall.
Not to be outdone, a long Dallas cross onto the edge of the box floated for Perez, who clinically finished with a scorching low drive from 20 yards out to even the game back up at two.
The final minutes of the draw were filled with chances from both sides, but perhaps both teams had already exhausted their scoring touch earlier in the half.
The Rapids will enjoy a two-week break before hosting San Jose Earthquakes on June 15th at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, while Dallas will host the Houston Dynamo for U.S. Open Cup play on June 12 before visiting Portland for a date with the Portland Timbers on June 15.
COL – Atiba Harris 3 (Marvell Wynne 1) 56'
DAL - Blas Perez (unassisted) 61'
COL - Atiba Harris 4 (Chris Klute 3) 64'
DAL - Blas Perez (Jackson) 66'
COL - Dillon Powers (caution) 59'
DAL - Michel (caution) 63'
DAL - Andrew Jacobson (caution) 96+
Colorado Rapids lineup: Clint Irwin, Marvell Wynne, Shane O'Neill, Drew Moor, Chris Klute, Hendry Thomas, Nathan Sturgis (German Mera 89'), Dillon Powers, Deshorn Brown (Danny Mwanga 88'), Atiba Harris, Edson Buddle
Substitutes not used: Steward Ceus, Pablo Mastroeni, Brian Mullan, Kevin Harbottle, Nick LaBrocca
FC Dallas lineup: Raúl Fernández, Zach Loyd, George John, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez (London Woodberry 88'), Andrew Jacobson, David Ferreira (Eric Hassli 89'), Michel, Jackson, Fabian Castillo (Ramon Nunez 85'), Blas Perez
Substitutes not used: Chris Seitz, Stephen Keel, Bradlee Baladez, Bobby Warshaw
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Blas Perez||Brought his team back into the match twice with timely goals, mostly against the run of play. The second goal was a peach|
|2||Atiba Harris||Did his part for a Rapids victory with his brace, by getting into dangerous spots and taking advantage of his opportunities|
|3||Marvell Wynne||Had a crucial tackle to potentially prevent Perez hat trick, and set up Harris' first goal with a long throw-in|