The Colorado Rapids bested the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 on Saturday night in front of a home crowd to jump three points in the Western Conference standings. Despite going down early, the Burgundy Boys rallied with three unanswered goals of their own at DICK'S Sporting Goods Park to secure the victory.
The 'Caps got on the board first when Brian White capitalized on a spilled Rapids' clearance, slotting the ball past William Yarbrough and Lalas Abubakar to give Vancouver the lead. The Rapids kept their heads down and continued to punish the opponent on turnovers and messy passes in the center of the pitch, eventually leading to their first goal and equalizer.
Striker Jonathan Lewis drove the ball up the left side and into the 18 before sending a neat pass to Felipe Gutiérrez. The Chilean's composure and calculated touch set Gyasi Zardes up perfectly as the striker sent the ball rocketing into the far post for his 10th goal os the season in burgundy.
The Rapids then took the lead in the 33rd minute after Lewis was fouled in the box while attempting a hard drive inside. Rubio stepped up to the spot to convert the penalty for his 13th goal of the season.
"I thought we played well enough to deserve to win. The engagement from start to finish I thought was excellent," said head coach Robin Fraser. "As a result, even when we gave up a soft goal against a run of play, it didn’t change anything. I felt like the guys’ mentality was really good from the beginning. As I look at the result tonight, I think that that’s a big reason as to why we won, is that I thought their mentality was excellent from the beginning and very focused and very engaged. That’s really all we can do at this point is try to take care of what we can control and the only thing we can control are our games."
After assisting the Rapids' opener and drawing the penalty for Rubio's finish, Lewis found his goal on Saturday night in the 75th minute after collecting a long Jack Price pass across the box. His shot went high to hit the underside of the crossbar and down inside the goal line to put the nail in Vancouver's coffin.
"Yeah, it’s great to have Jack (Price) back," said Fraser. "He’s a calming influence. He’s a very intelligent player who has played a lot of games for this team, and has a very subtle understanding of what we need when we need it."
- Rubio has now surpassed Chris Henderson for sole possession of the fifth-most in Rapids history (32) and now ties Paul Bravo for most game-winning goals in club history with 12.
- Jack Price now holds sole possession of second-most assists all-time in club history with 35.
- Three different Burgundy Boys recorded goals against Vancouver, and Lewis had a hand in all three after recording an assist, drawing the penalty for Rubio's finish and scoring a goal himself.
The Rapids will stay home for a midweek contest with San Jose on Wednesday night. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. MT for Colorado's Noche Latina, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.