Another thriller in Colorado.
The Rapids have two wins in two games and the squad is also two-for-two winning games in stoppage time.
While the result for both matches were the same, 2-1 victories, this game went differently for Colorado. The Rapids chemistry appeared more developed, and a straight second last-minute victory solidifies that you cannot count this team out. Here are three things we learned from Saturday’s win.
1. Welcome to MLS, Younes Namli
Younes Namli only needed a sliver of space open his MLS account in jaw-dropping fashion. On his goal, Namli showed off what truly makes him unique: his ball skills and field awareness.
“I got the ball in the middle of the pitch," Namli explained. "And I knew I had a player on my back, so I turned on him. And I got in between the two midfielders, so the defenders couldn’t step out because Diego was making a good run. So that gave me an opportunity to shoot, and I took the shot.”
“There aren’t a lot of players who actually play like him," head coach Robin Fraser said. "It’s just stylistically, he’s different. His goal is an example of what makes him a little bit different. His ability to dribble and scoot by people… he’s got great timing, and he can unbalance people. He’s a really close dribbler, which makes him really hard to tackle, I think his goal is an example of his best qualities."
It’s also worth noting that not only was this Namli's first game at home, but it was also his first at elevation. And he hasn’t spent much time training here, either. Namli had a couple sessions before the team went to D.C., and then proceeded to train this week, but he has not had enough time to acclimate. In addition, his chemistry with the team is still working off on mere weeks.
“This is just the start." Namli said. "I’ve been with them for like four weeks, if we can do this after four weeks, then imagine what we can do when we get a couple of months in the season.”
2. Mr. Clutch – Drew Moor
Drew Moorcontinued to show that he has plenty left in the tank. He came up clutch with a slide tackle to stop a breakaway in the second half, which earned him a questionable yellow card, but undoubtably stopped a potentially dangerous attack from coming to fruition.
Later, Moor netted the Rapids game-winner. This was especially impressive because goals weren’t necessarily something that he flaunts in his arsenal. Over six previous seasons with the Rapids, he scored only fourteen goals.
A huge part of this goal was the impressive work of Jack Price. This match is also the second week in a row that a beautiful cross from Price was headed home for a goal.
Moor was quick to give Price the credit.
“I think Jack Price is the best set piece taker in the league right now," Moor said. "He serves a perfect ball almost every single time. Every team in the league knows that this is big for this team, and it’s going to continue to be be big for this team.”
3. The Comeback Kids
One last-minute win could be a coincidence, but the second signifies a trend. Once again, this win came thanks to the combination of the team’s resilience and Fraser's strategy.
In the 62nd minute, Fraser subbed out Andre Shinyashiki for Diego Rubio. He also adjusted the lineup, allowing defender Sam Vines to get more involved with the offense and utilized three defenders on the backline. The switch paid off almost immediately, as Namli scored in the 64th minute.
And then the team kept pushing. Even after giving up a goal in 82nd, they fought for the win. That’s not something that is learned in a film session, that’s a belief that the team has to have in itself.
“We showed great character, getting three points in a home opener," Moor said. "And at this point of the season, it doesn’t really matter what it looks like.”
So, who’s ready for next week?