It did not take long for Mark-Anthony Kaye to leave a good impression.
Kaye made his Rapids debut on Saturday against Sporting KC, performing well enough to earn a spot on the Week 18 MLS Team of the Week bench. Kaye was comfortable in Robin Fraser’s starting XI against the Western Conference leaders, making a team-high four key passes at goal and completing 88 percent of his passes – second behind only Jack Price among Rapids midfielders. And he went 90 minutes in his first home game at altitude.
The Canadian was lively from the start, sending Michael Barrios through for his chip shot inches over the bar early on. He then used all 6-foot-1 of his frame to get on the end of Collen Warner’s cross at the far post, but not enough to trouble Sporting ‘keeper Tim Melia. The 26-year-old also got around the ball to cut it back for Price, but the captain’s first-time shot was saved to close the half.
Kaye also got in on a team-high 18 duels to help the Rapids become the first team to hold Sporting without a shot on goal all season and keep their eighth clean sheet of the season – tied for the league lead.
“It’s good to get my debut with the club, play 90 minutes,” Kaye said after the match. “I think for the most part we controlled the game and what we wanted to do. We created a lot of opportunities to score. It’s unfortunate that the ball didn’t go in the back of the net tonight, but there are some positives ot take from this in that we pushed the tempo of the game and put it on our terms. We obviously look forward to the next game but I’m very happy with how the team played tonight. Unfortunate not to win.”
Team of the Week:
F – Szabolcs Schon (DAL), Dairon Asprilla (POR), Cristian Espinoza (SJ)
M – Ezequiel Barco (ATL), Alejandro Pozuelo (TOR), Blaise Matuidi (MIA), Luka Stojanovic (CHI)
D – DeJuan Jones (NE), Nathan (SJ), Andy Najar (DC)
GK – Aljaz Ivacic (POR)
Coach – Rob Valentino (ATL)
Bench – Matt Turner (NE), Brent Kallman (MIN), Ryan Hollingshead (DAL), Emanuel Reynoso (MIN), Mark-Anthony Kaye (COL), Valentin Castellanos (NYC), Nani (ORL)