Final: Colorado Rapids: 3 | Houston Dynamo FC: 1
Sam Vines, Diego Rubio and Cole Bassett scored in the first half to propel the Colorado Rapids (3-1-1, 10 points) to their third consecutive victory on Saturday night. The 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo FC (2-2-2, 8 points) marked the second straight match in which the Rapids have netted three goals and also extended the club's home scoring streak to 27 consecutive MLS matches, the longest active home scoring streak in the league.
Rubio's goal in the 36th minute was his second of the season and came on his 28th birthday. Bassett's goal was the 10th of his MLS career, setting the club record for most goals by a Rapids Homegrown Player. Vines opened his 2021 scoring account with a strike from inside the box in the 29th minute. 19-year-old Homegrown midfielder Oliver Larraz made his MLS debut when he came in for Jack Price in the 90th minute, making it three Rapids Homegrown Players on the pitch at the same time.
DEFENDER SAM VINES
On the team’s performance:
“I think we came out strong at the beginning. We pinned them back early on… [W]e got a goal in the first half that really opened up the game and then we scored a second one. We let one right in after we scored, didn’t really feel too good, but it was a good response from the guys right after to get another goal and kind of lock down the game… [W]e just grinded out the whole rest of the second half and did our thing, didn't let up any goals, didn’t score any goals, but we just locked down the game. A good 3-1 win from the boys.”
On his offensive contributions to the team:
“I just want to contribute the best I can. Obviously, I’m a defender so I have to defend first, but the system that we play now gives me more freedom to go forward and help with the attack, get some more space out wide to get crosses in the box and to get production. Just the distribution and the movement from the guys gives me space to get in behind, so it helps me, all the guys, the movement that we get, the rotations that we get on the left side. Whether it’s Bava [Andre Shinyashiki], whether it’s Kellyn [Acosta], our movement just brings out space for me and gives me opportunities to get in good spots, get good crosses in the box.”
HEAD COACH ROBIN FRASER
On the team’s performance:
“Houston came in and their game plan was to make it really difficult for us, and playing the back five, they did a good job of taking away a lot of the spaces that we generally want to attack. But I thought our team did a really good job of being patient and moving the ball early in the game, and as a result, we were able to create some good chances and obviously score some good goals. I think that, again, we showed really good character in going 0-0 in the second half and winning by two goals at home. Nothing is ever perfect, but we’re certainly gaining confidence from creating some of the chances and goals that we did and then being able to see these games out last week and this week.”
On midfielder Oliver Larraz’s debut:
“It actually goes back to about a year ago when Ollie first started training with us. He made an impression pretty quickly within the team and the guys have a lot of trust and faith in him, so it was good for him to come in this year as a signed player, start preseason, go through a preseason, go through some of the ups and downs. He’s not played a lot of games in the last number of years, so preseason was great for him to have opportunities to play and he’s just continued to work hard and work well, and he’s a talented, talented player. He can do a lot of things with the ball and he’s got a really good soccer mind so it was good for him to get on the field today and he certainly did well with the few minutes that he had.”
On midfielder Cole Bassett's impact on the match:
“Cole was again a tremendous amount of energy and work for us, which he always is. What he’s done over the last year or so is figure out how to be really effective with that work. He gives us so much in terms of putting pressure on the ball, making things predictable for the guys behind him, but then on the attacking end, he’s in the middle of the field. He’s gotten better at just [keeping] the ball moving. As a young player that’s a hard thing to do, but he’s gotten much better at receiving the ball in the middle of the field and just enabling us to keep plays going. But the part about him that gets the attention is that he gets in front of the goal and he gets in front of the goal a lot. He’s constantly looking for it and the goal tonight was obviously a culmination of those two things: his willingness to work defensively and his desire to be in front of the goal. It was fortuitous, for sure, but that doesn’t happen if you don’t have his kind of mindset. So what you’re seeing really again, as I referred to with Sam [Vines] before, is the maturing process of these young players and Cole is certainly someone who has blossomed in the last year, year and a half. His understanding is getting better, his willingness and desire to get in front of the goal is really something that drives him and obviously we’re benefitting from that.”
Colorado travels to Los Angeles to take on LAFC next Saturday, May 22 at Banc of California Stadium.