It didn't take long for Vicente Sanchez to show the Colorado Rapids and the fanbase that he came to MLS to play.
Less than a week after officially signing with the Rapids, the veteran forward from Uruguay made his MLS and Rapids debut Sunday when he came on to start the second half against Chivas USA and showed he has a lot left in the tank.
“First of all, I felt good physically," the 33-year-old Sanchez said afterwards. "I have to thank my teammates and the coaching staff that in one week, they gave me the confidence to be able to play."
Sanchez replaced center back German Mera but slotted in to the right side of the midfield, giving the Rapids an added offensive weapon as they looked to take advantage of a man-advantage. That quickly went away after Tony Cascio received his second yellow card of the match.
Sanchez hits crossbar. Does it go in?
After Chivas had another player ejected, Rapids coach Oscar Pareja made another adjustment and brought in Martin Rivero to pair with Sanchez in the middle of the field. Sanchez nearly gave the Rapids the win but his glancing 86' header off a Rivero corner kick hit the underside of the crossbar and was cleared by a defender as the team's tied 1-1.
"I’m a little sad because we should have come out with three points," Sanchez added. "We had the options to win, and we didn’t. Now we have to work, force ourselves during the week and if we force ourselves, things will go our way.”
Still, his darting runs forward and offensive instincts had Pareja feeling good about the latest acquisition.
“It was good...to have Vicente involved in the game just after four [training] sessions in the week," Pareja said after the match. "And then he came up and gelled with the group and gave us a fantastic contribution to our creativity and mobility; he’s a player that’s going to help us a lot."
For Sanchez - who has played professionally in Uruguay, Mexico, and Germany - his debut match in MLS was provided a better understanding of what's to come.
“It’s a competitive league, a nice league, with nice stadiums, and the fields are good," he said. "[In MLS] you play more with the ball, and that’s good. It’s a very “stop-and-go” type of play in comparison to other countries. I hope all goes well for me in the League and therefore, also to the team.”