Five years ago today, the Colorado Rapids and Tim Howard accomplished a feat nothing short of amazing––a penalty kick shootout victory over LA Galaxy to secure a playoff series victory and boost the Rapids to the Western Conference final match. It’s a moment no Rapids fan can forget, as DICK’S Sporting Goods Park erupted in a cacophony of applause, cheers and fireworks when Howard batted away Jeff Larentowicz’s shot from the spot to put the Rapids on top. Five years later, we’re still celebrating.


In a battle for a spot in the Western Conference finals, the matchup between Colorado and Los Angeles held a crucial implication for the Rapids. Then-head coach Pablo Mastroeni’s side was already down 1-0 on aggregate in the playoff series, so unless the Rapids could pull out more than a point in regulation time, the game would be settled from the penalty spot. 

And that’s exactly how the day unfolded.

In the 36th minute, then-Designated Player Shkelzen Gashi sent a shot rocketing from over 40 yards away that hit the inside of the post and sailed past Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe to put the Rapids up by one. Colorado and Los Angeles remained deadlocked for the remainder of the game, enduring another 30 minutes of extra time before it was clear that the result rested in the hands of Howard and Rowe on the goal line.

The following shootout resides in Rapids club history. Kevin Doyle, Sebastien Le Toux and Marco Pappa all found the back of the net for Colorado while Howard remained steadfast between the posts, seeing Giovani dos Santos’ shot sail over the net and knocking away Ashley Cole’s attempt before making the clinching save to secure a Rapids win.