He really makes it easy to spot him. In fact, it is more difficult to miss him, and yet in the last two games he has been allowed to ghost in and score in stunning fashion.

Of course, I’m talking about Lalas Abubakar, a smiling, courteous character off the pitch, but something very different on it. Once he steps over that white line and the whistle blows, the Ghanaian goes from Mr. Nice Guy to Mr. Enforcer.

Even at the end of the most recent outing, a gutsy 2-2 draw at Real Salt Lake, Abubakar could be seen deep in conversation, all smiles, with Justin Meram. The pair were teammates at Columbus and embraced postgame. During the game, Abubakar up-ended Meram … more than once!

His battling qualities are well known among Rapids fans. What we’ve managed to enjoy these past two encounters is his ability in front of goal.

Coming into this season, the 27-year-old had scored five times in 94 appearances. The first of those goals was in a 1-1 draw at Orlando City in 2017, while with Columbus.

He has scored six of his eight goals while in the colors of the Rapids. Two of those have been against Houston, with a goal apiece against the other teams from Texas, FC Dallas and Austin FC. And he has scored in each of the games against RSL this term.

The way in which he guided home the goals against Austin and RSL was quite exquisite. For a big man, he certainly offered the gentlest of touches.

Last weekend’s game in Utah was Abubakar’s 80th regular season appearance for the Rapids, and his heroics leveled the scores and salvaged a point.

Such as been the run inside Rio Tinto, the 2-2 draw was only the seventh time in 20 visits that the Rapids had avoided defeat. (They did beat Vancouver Whitecaps there in 2021, courtesy of a sensational Diego Rubio free kick).

Saturday’s scoreline was also only the third time in which the Rapids had netted more than a goal in a game at Rio Tinto against RSL. They previously tied 2-2 in 2018 and won 5-0 there in 2020.

Prior to the 2-2 draw in 2018, which included a late equalizer from Dillon Serna - again after RSL had taken a 2-0 lead - the Rapids had not scored more than a goal in Utah since a 2-0 win at Rice-Eccles on April 30, 2007.

In other words, we can look at Saturday’s result in isolation and congratulate the comeback, but we can also view with a much wider, historical eye. Goals and positive results have been tough to come by the other side of the Rockies, for whatever reason.

So, while disappointed to return without the Rocky Mountain Cup, the team did return with a point, after a performance which ought to give them great heart for the next run of games, starting with Orlando City on Wednesday night.

What are the chances of Abubakar bagging a third in three games? That said, after his MLS Team of the Week performance against Real Salt Lake, I suspect folks may start paying closer attention to the big man.