The Colorado Rapids notched their first goal of the 2023 on Saturday with a little help from none other than Colorado native, Cole Bassett. For a Rapids side that has struggled to finish its chances in the final third this season, the midfielder's 49th-minute strike embodied the bold and "ruthless" attitude Colorado is hoping to consistently manifest in the box.
Bassett completed his sole shot on target against the Loons, collecting a long cross from Michael Barrios and taking the ball himself in a busy box to finally slot home a far-post shot for the Rapids’ first goal of the 2023 season. His left-footed strike was taken with pin-point accuracy after beating D.J. Taylor and finding the perfect angle beyond Dayne St. Clair’s outstretched hand.
His motivation for three points doesn’t waver despite scoring Saturday’s opening goal or earning Man of the Match honors postgame for his performance.
“I'd rather win the game than score a goal and get Man of the Match, but it's at least nice to get the first one this year and hopefully build some more throughout the whole year,” he said after the matchup.
The Homegrown’s intensity in the attack since returning from his 2022 loan overseas manifests itself in a healthy stamina, constantly making runs and getting into gaps in opponents’ defense. Since returning to Colorado, Bassett has started every game of 2023, racking up a total of 360 minutes on the pitch.
“He's a really good finisher and with relentless running, he creates opportunities for himself,” said head coach Robin Fraser. “His relentless running creates pressure which creates opportunities for other guys. But if he can consistently turn his chances into shots like he did tonight, then it's just going to be another way for Cole to score goals.”
For the Rapids’ attack, this first goal sparks hope for more to come as the season continues.
“It does give the team confidence knowing that we can score–we've had plenty of chances where we could have before,” said Bassett.
“[Getting] the first one of the season is always nice and then it hopefully flows on from there. So it gives me plenty of confidence going into Austin knowing that I can continue to build on that or help set other people up if they're coming towards me a little more, for them to see I’m dangerous. I think the team is confident in terms of creating chances, but we got to work on it throughout the week and just bury him. You got to be ruthless.”
The Rapids will visit Austin FC next this Saturday, searching for their first road win of the season.