While the buzz around last week's match against Vancouver was the home debuts of new forwards Gabriel Torres and Vicente Sanchez, incumbent forwards Deshorn Brown and Edson Buddle made sure no one forgot about them.
Brown's first-half header proved to be the game-winner, and Buddle's late goal sealed the 2-0 win over the Whitecaps.
"It was a ball coming across from the right side. I watched it keep going and just followed the play and just got to the back post and head it in there," Brown said afterwards of his goal. "We practiced it in training so I just watched him because I know what he’s going to do. Whenever he looks up I know it’s time for me to go so I just scored right there."
Goal: Brown vs Vancouver
Sanchez, the veteran with experience in four countries, was the one who sent the cross in from the right side.
"I told Deshorn before the game, “Vicente will find you, just make the runs,” Buddle said after the game. "And it actually happened. He’s definitely a dangerous player with a lot of experience, you can tell right away just by watching him."
Brown now has seven goals on the season, strengthening his case for the MLS Rookie of the Year honors. The last MLS Rookie of the Year with as many goals was Clint Dempsey, who scored seven goals during his first year with New England in 2004.
But Brown is only thinking about the team with eight games to play.
"We’ve just got to stay focused because we need the points to move up in the table," Brown said.
Buddle, who missed the previous game at Chivas with a hamstring issue, came in for Torres in the 78' and scored his third goal of the season a minute later.
Goal: Buddle vs Vancouver
"Well, more of 'do your job.' Buddle said of the motivation for his 96th career regular season goal. "Help the team the best way possible and coming off the bench is something I’m familiar with."
The goal was Buddle's second off the bench. He scored his first goal for the Rapids as a second half substitute against Toronto on May 14. And although the goals have been hard to come by for the veteran forward, the Rapids are 10-2-5 in the 17 games he's appeared in. Of the Rapids' 33 goals, 24 have been scored when Buddle has been on the field.
"Everyone wants to make Oscar’s job tough," Buddle said. "We’re all fighting for a spot and it’s a good atmosphere right now."