The Big Picture
Diego Rubio earned his 12th goal of the season in the Rapids 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew on Saturday night. The Chilean striker’s penalty kick marked his single-season career-high in goals scored.
The game started and finished early, as the scoring wrapped up before the first half could end.
“Interesting game. I thought both teams opened up and were vulnerable in transition. Obviously, they have very, very good attacking players and that gave us some issues early on,” said Rapids head coach Robin Fraser postgame.
But I thought we found ways into the game and created a couple of half chances, but we weren't as clean in the attacking end as we need it to be. And the game really just ended up being back and forth.”
Columbus got on the board first after creating danger in the final third, finally dumping a ball into the far post where Cucho was waiting to get a foot on it in the 5th minute.
The opponent’s early lead is one of multiple this season, but the Rapids turned on the heat to get one back quickly.
Gyasi Zardes nearly took the equalizer against his former club in the 22nd minute but the goal was ultimately disallowed after he was called offside. The goal would have been his sixth in seven games.
It was a fluke handball in the box that led to the Rapids’ chance in the 41st minute after Columbus’ Steven Moreira attempted to collect a Colorado cross but took the ball to the arm. Rubio stepped up to the spot for the Rapids and drove the ball home to the bottom left corner to set his new single-season career-high.
The second half saw numerous fouls, yellow cards and restarts as both sides played a chippy game searching for the game-winning goal.
Winger Sam Nicholson found the closest chance for the Rapids in the 69th minute, cutting his defender and ripping a shot from the top left corner of the box, but the shot was deflected and slowed down, making for an easier save for the Crew’s ‘keeper Room.
“I was told when I go in just to sort of be direct…being direct and trying to create something,” he said after the match. “I thought altogether we did create chances and as every game goes up, you can always be better. And so that's what we're looking to do. And we look to Wednesday.”
- Diego Rubio recorded a new single-season career high for goals scored in MLS on Saturday when he converted the PK from a Columbus handball. The goal also marked the eighth consecutive match the Chilean has recorded a goal or an assist.
- Rubio has now tied Chris Henderson for the fifth-most goals scored all-time in Rapids history (31).
- In his last six games for Colorado, Zardes has scored five goals and produced one assist, leading the team to a 3-1-2 record.
- Felipe Gutiérrez recorded his first start in burgundy against the Crew, logging 80 minutes total in the center of the pitch.
The Rapids will cross the northern border for a midweek clash with Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday. After receiving yellow cards on Saturday night, midfielder Bryan Acosta and winger Lucas Esteves will not be available due to accumulation. Kickoff at BC Place is set for 8:00 p.m. MT.