The Colorado Rapids drew Orlando City SC 1-1 on Wednesday night to earn a point at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park in front of a home crowd. After going down by one in the first half, striker Gyasi Zardes found the equalizer for the Burgundy Boys in the 65th minute by beating both his defender and goalkeeper with a near-post run to slot the ball into the back of the net.
The Big Picture
Orlando’s Facundo Torres gave the Lions the lead in the 22nd minute after receiving the ball at the top of the box and letting one loose on frame. His shot deflected off the inside of the crossbar and dropped down into the goal for a 1-nil advantage over the Rapids.
After going down, the Rapids launched an offensive onslaught on Orlando’s backline and ‘keeper Gallese, forcing the Peruvian to make six saves on the night.
Max, Jonathan Lewis, Michael Barrios, and Zardes put shot after shot on the board throughout the 90 minutes for a combined nine chances.
Despite the showing from Gallese, Zardes found the back of the net in the 65th minute when Barrios collected a long ball from Diego Rubio in the midfield to drive into the box, slotting a low pass to the near post. Zardes read the play right to beat his defender, sliding in the six and slipping the ball to the far post past Gallese’s outstretched hand.
“Disappointing to give up the goal when we did and how we did, but I thought we fought back well after that,” said head coach Robin Fraser postgame. “[We] created a number of chances in the first half and created a number of chances in the second half, obviously scored a good goal. It has to be said that their goalkeeper was excellent today and made some really, really incredible saves but based on the last game and the resiliency to come back in this game and really push, I was pretty proud of the performance."
- Jonathan Lewis recorded his 50th start in MLS (44th as a member of the Rapids) and reached 5,000 minutes played in MLS on Wednesday.
- The midweek clash marked winger Sam Nicholson’s first game back at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park since returning to the Rapids. Nicholson recorded two shots against Gallese before being subbed off for Barrios in the 59th minute.
- Striker Barrios now leads the Rapids in assists this season with five total.
- Goalkeeper William Yarbrough notched his 50th save in the midweek clash, recording five on the night.
- Zardes' goal marked his 90th goal in MLS and first in the run of play in Burgundy. He now has two goals in a Rapids jersey, scoring his first from the spot against LAFC at home on May 14.
- The Rapids outshot the Lions 19 to 12 on Wednesday, seven of them on target compared to Orlando's four.
- Wednesday's game marks the second comeback draw for Colorado after the Rapids battled back to tie with Real Salt Lake 2-2 over the weekend.
The Rapids will face another quick turnaround and take to the DICK’S Sporting Goods Park pitch again this Saturday when they face LA Galaxy. The Western Conference opponent is coming off a 3-2 loss by California Clásico rivals San Jose Earthquakes suffered on Wednesday night. Saturday’s kickoff is set for 7:00 PM at altitude.