COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – It was over before it began.
Rookie Deshorn Brown scored the second-fastest goal in MLS history as the Colorado Rapids thrashed the Seattle Sounders 5-1 in front of a sellout crowd at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night, giving the home side three critical points as they continue to climb the Western Conference table.
Four of the Rapids’ goals came in the first half as Brown made a huge statement for MLS’ Rookie of the Year award, scoring an impressive first-half brace. The 22-year-old Jamaican scored just 15 seconds into the match, and the Rapids netted four goals in the opening 41 minutes, crushing the Sounders’ spirit long before the first half was over.
The three points boosted the Rapids (13-9-9, 48 points) into sole possession of the fourth spot in the West with three games to go on the season, while the Sounders fell to 15-9-6 and stayed at 51 points. The Sounders, who were without the injured Clint Dempsey once again on Saturday and also traveled without his fellow Designated Player Obafemi Martins, also watched their seven-game unbeaten streak come to a close.
It’s hard to get off to a quicker start than what the Rapids managed on Saturday night. Mere seconds into the match, Gabriel Torres’ magnificent pass set the rookie Brown free along the left side of the penalty box, and the rookie didn’t make a mistake, firing home just 14 seconds after the opening whistle.
The goal was the fastest in Rapids franchise history and the second-fastest in league history, behind only Dwayne De Rosario’s goal for San Jose 11 seconds into a match in 2003.
But the fireworks had only just begun on an unseasonably chilly night in suburban Denver.
On a 10th minute corner kick, Rapids veteran Vicente Sanchez wisely spotted the Sounders defense dropping back slowly, and Sanchez’s quick delivery picked out Powers alone in front of the net. The rookie easily finished for his fifth goal of the season and doubled the Rapids’ dream start to 2-0.
But the rookies weren’t done yet in an historically effective first half for the home side. Brown beat fellow Rookie of the Year candidate DeAndre Yedlin on an over-the-top pass, coolly slotting home for his ninth goal of the year, the most by a Rapid since fellow Jamaican Omar Cummings scored 14 in Colorado’s 2010 MLS Cup-winning season.
The Rapids dashed more salt into the Sounders’ wounds in the 41st minute. Drew Moor got the final touch to another Sanchez corner kick to make it 4-0, and the Sounders marched off to the locker room with their heads hanging after the first half whistle mercifully sounded.
The second half was something of a formality, but Eddie Johnson did manage to grab a 63rd minute consolation to pad the scoreboard.
Zach Scott’s 79th-minute ejection on a second yellow card dealt Seattle yet another blow in a game gone horribly wrong for the visitors. And Torres completed a magical night for the hosts with a far post blast in the 91st minute, giving the club’s first Designated Player in franchise history his first goal in a Rapids uniform.
The Rapids face a quick turnaround with a critical matchup looming on Wednesday in San Jose against the sixth-placed Earthquakes (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE). Seattle, meanwhile, return to CenturyLink Field for an equally important Wednesday clash against the Vancouver Whitecaps (10 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
COL – Deshorn Brown 8 (Gabriel Torres 1) 1’
COL – Dillon Powers 5 (Vicente Sánchez 3) 10’
COL – Deshorn Brown 9 (Dillon Powers 6) 31’
COL – Drew Moor 4 (Hendry Thomas 1, Vicente Sánchez 4) 42’
SEA – Eddie Johnson 9 (Marc Burch 4) 63’
COL – Gabriel Torres 1 (Martín Rivero 3) 90+
SEA – Zach Scott (caution) 8’
SEA – Zach Scott (second caution, ejection) 79’
Colorado Rapids lineup: Clint Irwin, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Shane O’Neill, Chris Klute, Nathan Sturgis (Atiba Harris 82’), Hendry Thomas, Dillon Powers (Martín Rivero 59’), Vicente Sánchez, Deshorn Brown (Nick LaBrocca 73’), Gabriel Torres
Substitutes not used: Matt Pickens, Germán Mera, Jaime Castrillón, Edson Buddle
Seattle Sounders FC lineup: Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedllin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Patrick Ianni 46’), Zach Scott, Marc Burch, Mauro Rosales (Dylan Remick 65’), Osvaldo Alonso (Andy Rose 74’), Adam Moffat, Brad Evans, Lamar Neagle, Eddie Johnson
Substitutes not used: Marcus Hahnemann, Alex Caskey, David Estrada, Eriq Zavaleta
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.