The Rapids are 12-3-3 all-time on the 4th of July - all at home - and eight times the winning goal has been scored after the 69th minute. However, since moving over to Dick's Sporting Goods Park in 2007, the team has only won two of seven matches (2-2-3) on Independence Day (though, in 2011, the game was played on July 3rd instead of the 4th). Ahead of Friday's Independence Day match against Columbus Crew (BUY TICKETS) let's take a quick look back at the club's July 4th matches:
PART I: 1996-2002 - JULY 4th RECAPS
JULY 4, 2003: By this time, fans were used to two facts on the annual July 4th game. The opposing team usually scored first, and the Rapids usually scored late to win the game. Preki gave visiting Kansas City the lead in the 23rd minute, but John Spencer's penalty kick just before the halftime whistle evened the match. With more than 60,000 fans cheering the team on, Mark Chung scored in the 77th, and it all but looked like the Rapids had the win. However, Kansas City's Steven Armstrong's cross in the 91st minute was misread by Rapids goalkeeper Scott Garlick and the game was suddenly tied. And, before the crowd had a chance to grasp what had happened, Chung brought them into hysteria less than a minute later as he scored his second of the game in the 92nd to give the Rapids the 3-2 win.
Rapids lineup: Scott Garlick, Wes Hart, Nat Borchers, Robin Fraser, Ritchie Kotschau, Zach Kingsley (Chris Henderson 46), Pablo Mastroeni, Seth Trembly (Kyle Beckerman 80), Mark Chung, Chris Carrieri, John Spencer.
JULY 4, 2004: In only his third game, Cuban Alberto Delgado scored his first, and only, MLS goal in the 74th minute to give the host Rapids the 1-0 win over the New England Revolution. Many of the 41,979 at Invesco Field were confused when they heard that Alberto Delgago had scored. You see, Delgado wore his mother's maiden name, Perez, on his jersey, which he had done so throughout his career. Despite wearing that name, all public references to his last name were always Delgado. The win extended the Rapids 4th of July record to 8-1, with six of those victories coming off goals scored with less than 20 minutes to play.
Rapids lineup: Joe Cannon, Nat Borchers, Antonio de la Torre, Ritchie Kotschau, Pablo Mastroeni, Kyle Beckerman (Seth Trembly 74), Jordan Cila (Daryl Powell 60), Matt Crawford, Chris Henderson, John Spencer, Alberto Delgado (Gary Sullivan 86).
JULY 4, 2005: Once again, the visitors scored first when Kansas City's Chris Klein put away a Ryan Pore pass just five minutes into the match. And once again, the Rapids came back to win, this time playing with 10 men after forward Jean Philippe Peguero was ejected in the 40th minute. Trailing 1-0 in the second half, Alain Nkong tied the game a 1-1 with a goal in the 57th, and substitute Terry Cooke scored his first MLS goal just four minutes later off a freekick to give the Rapids the 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.
Rapids lineup: Joe Cannon, Nat Borchers, Ritchie Kotschau, Rickly Lewis (Terry Cooke 46), Mike Petke, Leo Cullen, Eric Denton, Luchi Gonzalez (Kyle Beckerman 46), Alain Nkong (Dan Gargan 83), Jeff Cunningham, Jean Philippe Peguero.
July 4, 2006: A new element was introduced to the annual celebration, as lightening caused the game between the Rapids and New England Revolution to be delayed by almost an hour. The Rapids' Nicolas Hernandez headed in a Terry Cooke corner kick in 13th which broke the game open, literally. A minute later, the teams were sent to the locker room as lightening caused a 50-minute delay. When they returned to play, the Revs' Clint Dempsey tied the game in the 26th. And, a minute into stoppage time, Hernandez sprung Kyle Beckerman on a one-v-one and the midfielder converted to give the Rapids the 2-1 halftime lead. Hernandez sealed the game with his second of the night in the 69th minute. New England's Taylor Twellman got one back in second half stoppage time, but the Rapids held on for the 3-2 win.
Rapids lineup: Joe Cannon, Hunter Freeman, Aitor Karanka, Mike Petke, Kyle Beckerman, Dedi Ben Dayan (Jacob Peterson 65), Terry Cooke (Dan Gargan 89), Eric Denton, Pablo Mastroeni, Nicolas Hernandez (Clint Mathis 78), Jovan Kirovski.
JULY 4, 2007: In the first July 4th contest at the new Dick's Sporting Goods Park, a new first was experienced - a scoreless match. Missing several players that were with the U.S. National team and with Conor Casey injured, the Rapids and the Columbus Crew settled for a 0-0 tie. Rapids' captain Pablo Mastroeni had just ended his run at the Gold Cup and was unavailable, and Kyle Beckerman and Herculez Gomez had joined the other U.S. team that was heading to the Copa America. Perhaps more memorable was the birth of Edson the Mascot.
Rapids lineup: Bouna Coundoul, Facundo Erpen, Dan Gargan, Ugo Ihemelu, Brandon Prideaux, Colin Clark (Omar Cummings 81), Terry Cooke (Nico Colaluca 73), Jovan Kirovski, Daniel Wasson, Nicolas Hernandez, Jacob Peterson.
July 4, 2008: After a disappointing first 4th at the new park, the Rapids broke out the fireworks early this year, defeating the visiting New York Red Bulls 4-0 with two goals in each half. Tom McManus put the Rapids up 1-0 in the 24th when he got on the end of a Colin Clark cross at the six-yard box and buried it home. Mehdi Ballouchy made it 2-0 in the 37th when he finished a Terry Cooke pass at the near post. Clark extended the lead just after the break with a tough-angled shot, and Omar Cummings finished easily after getting behind the defense in the 68th. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
Rapids lineup: Bouna Coundoul, Facundo Erpen, Ugo Ihemelu, Pablo Mastroeni, Mehdi Ballouchy, Colin Clark, Terry Cooke, Christian Gomez (John DiRaimondo 52), Nick LaBrocca, Conor Casey (Omar Cummings 46), Tom McManus (Herculez Gomez 72).
JULY 4, 2009: For only the second time in 13 years, the Rapids lost on the 4th of July. Chicago Marco Pappa (30th) and Wilman Conde (38th) gave the Fire a 2-0 lead, and although Jacob Peterson got one back for the Rapids in the 76th, the visitors held on for the 2-1 victory, ending the Rapids six game home undefeated run to start the season.
Rapids lineup: Matt Pickens, Cory Gibbs, Jordan Harvey, Ugo Ihemelu, Mehdi Ballouchy, Terry Cooke, Kosuke Kimura (Ross Schunk 89), Pablo Mastroeni, Nick LaBrocca (Greg Dalby 84), Pat Noonan (Jacob Peterson 46), Conor Casey
JULY 4, 2010: The Rapids and the New York Red Bulls tied 1-1 in a match that many will remember for the downpour of rain and swirling winds. Omar Cummings gave the Rapids the lead in the 15th minute but New York's Juan Pablo Angel equalized in the 34th. Although the Rapids created the better chances, the finishing was off and the teams settled for the Rapids second-ever July 4th draw.
Rapids lineup: Matt Pickens, Danny Earls, Drew Moor, Scott Palguta (Kosuke Kimura 54), Marvell Wynne, Pablo Mastroeni (Wells Thompson 77), Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith (Colin Clark 65), Omar Cummings, Conor Casey.
JULY 3, 2011: As defending MLS Cup champions the Rapids played out a frustrating goalless draw with the visiting Houston Dynamo. The Rapids had the bulk of possession and clear cut chances but couldn’t ever really get their game going. That was in large part thanks to Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, who had a man of the match performance in nets for the struggling Dynamo. Hall produced six saves on the night, many of the spectacular variety. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
Rapids lineup: Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Tyrone Marshall, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Brian Mullan (Wells Thompson 78), Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith, Omar Cummings (Quincy Amarikwa 78), Caleb Folan.
JULY 4, 2012: The Vancouver Whitecaps spoiled Colorado’s annual Fourth of July celebration with a 1-0 victory at a sold-out Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Despite the Rapids having the lion’s share of possession and chances for the home side, it was the Canadian visitors who scored the game’s only goal on a sweltering evening. Jordan Harvey’s 43rd-minute ball into the box appeared to be harmless, but Rapids center back Marvell Wynne whiffed on the cross, and Drew Moor’s poorly hit clearance deflected straight to the feet of Mattocks, who fired home for game-winner. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
Rapids lineup: Matt Pickens, Hunter Freeman (Edu 72'), Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata, Jeff Larentowicz, Jaime Castrillon (Jamie Smith 63'), Martin Rivero, Brian Mullan, Omar Cummings (Tony Cascio 61'), Conor Casey
JULY 4, 2013: A star-studded New York Red Bulls were not going to spoil the party, as second half goals from Nathan Sturgis and substitute Deshorn Brown gave the Rapids A 2-0 win at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, in front of a sell-out crowd. Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill were left in the shadows by the home side, which remained on a massive high following their dramatic 4-3 win at Montreal Impact less than a week earlier. This was only a second win on 4th July since moving to Dick's Sporting Goods Park in 2007. The previous victory had also been against the Red Bulls, a 4-0 win in 2008. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
Rapids lineup: Clint Irwin, Shane O'Neill, Drew Moor, German Mera, Chris Klute, Hendry Thomas, Nathan Sturgis, Dillon Powers, Atiba Harris (Tony Cascio 71'), Nick LaBrocca (Deshorn Brown 46), Edson Buddle (Jaime Castrillon 77')