Deshorn Brown’s first career hat-trick helped the Colorado Rapids advance to the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night, trouncing soon-to-be MLS side Orlando City 5-2 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
An early goal had the Rapids off on the wrong foot, but it would be all Colorado – and Brown, in particular – from there, with the Jamaican international terrifically taking all three goals and upping his season total (in all competitions) to eight.
Dominating the proceedings out of the gate, Rapids midfielder José Mari nearly got the Rapids on the board early on with a 20-yard screamer that narrowly went over the crossbar. In the 15th minute, Brown had a one-on-one opportunity with goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, but the Orlando City ‘keeper was able to make a sprawling leg save to keep things scoreless.
But in the 22nd minute, against the run of play, Orlando City midfielder Adama Mbengue took a terrific feed in the box and turned around and fired low, a deflection beating goalie Clint Irwin for a surprise 1-0 lead.
The Rapids turned up the pressure following the goal, and in the 35th minute, they got their reward. Brown, making up for his earlier miss, terrifically brought down a Nick LaBrocca pass, turned and volleyed home the equalizer.
Six minutes later, the Rapids went ahead on LaBrocca’s first goal of the season. Marc Burch delivered a perfect cross to LaBrocca, who was initially denied by Gallardo, only for the Rapids midfielder to tuck away the rebound for the go-ahead goal.
In the 47th, Brown put the result to bed with another terrific finish, slotting home from a tough angle, and within nine minutes had completed the hat-trick, the first of his professional career, with a lob over Gallardo.
Luke Boden pulled back a 71st minute header for Orlando, but two minutes later Dillon Powers skillfully chipped home from a tough angle to re-establish the three goal lead.
Edson Buddle and Vicente Sánchez both subbed on in the 64th minute. For Buddle (groin), it was his first appearance since May 24th, and for Sanchez it was his first since spraining his knee on May 3rd.
The Rapids will now host the Atlanta Silverbacks next Tuesday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and Colorado will return to MLS action on June 28 when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (7.00 p.m., watch it on Altitude).
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com