Rapids Add Important Point Against MetroStars With 1-1 Draw Saturday at Giants Stadium

EAST RUTHERFORD (07-16-05)- The Colorado Rapids added an important point on the road tonight with a 1-1 tie against the MetroStars playing on the newly-placed natural grass surface at Giants Stadium.

(To view video highlights from this match CLICK HERE).

The home team had the first scoring opportunity early in the match with an accurate header from striker Youri Djorkaeff. The French international found a cross inside of the Rapids penalty area and sent a powerful header that had goalkeeper Joe Cannon beaten but his shot was denied by the left post.

The Black and Blue responded in the 17th minute when defender Nat Borchers joined the attack on a free kick from the left side. Terry Cooke curved the ball into the heart of the MetroStars area where Borchers met the cross but his header sailed over the crossbar and into the East stands of the stadium.

Rapids forward Jeff Cunnigham had the best scoring opportunity for the Rapids at the end of the first half when he picked up a misplayed pass from the MetroStars defense to take off on a one-on-one play against goalkeeper Zach Wells. Cunnigham’s shot missed the goal by inches.

The beginning of the second half saw Metros substitute Sergio Galvan Rey stumble upon a free ball inside of the Rapids' 18. His close range shot was blocked by a well-timed tackle from defender Nat Borchers.

The MetroStars took the lead only two minutes later when Ante Razov picked up a loose ball at the top of the Rapids penalty area and unleashed a powerful shot that beat Cannon to his right post.

The Rapids evened the scoring in the 60th minute with Cunningham’s league-leading ninth goal of the season. The Rapids striker one-timed a 35-yard cross from defender Ritchie Kotschau just at the top of the home team’s 18 and buried it into the upper left corner of Well’s goal. Cunningham’s spectacular tying goal is again a strong contender for the MLS goal of the week honors. (Vote for it for the MLS Goal of the Week by CLICKING HERE).

Defender Eric Denton came up big for the Rapids in the dying minutes of the match when he cleared a shot off the line that was destined directly for the back of the Rapids' net.

The Black and Blue will next return to INVESCO Field where they will host two home games in a four-day span starting on Wednesday July 20th against the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 p.m.(MT) on the team's "Celtic Heritage Night" celebration. Colorado will then host the Chicago Fire on Saturday July 23rd at 7:00 p.m. (MT) in the same night that the Rapids will honor soccer legend Marcelo Balboa for his induction into the 2005 United States Soccer Hall of Fame.

Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Jeff Cunningham

COL:Cunningham (Kotschau Denton 60')
MET: Razov (Unassisted 51')


Colorado Rapids -- Joe Cannon Ricky Lewis Nat Borchers Mike Petke Ritchie Kotschau Alain Nkong Terry Cooke (Hunter Freeman) Leo Cullen (Kyle Beckerman 55) Eric Denton Jeff Cunningham Luchi Gonzalez (Guy Melamed).

Substitutes Not Used: Byron Foss Wolde Harris.

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Jeff Cunningham 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Jeff Cunningham 2); FOULS: 11 (Alain Nkong 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (Jeff Cunningham 3); CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 6 (Joe Cannon 6)

MetroStars -- Zach Wells Chris Leitch Carlos Mendes Jeff Parke Jeff Agoos Eddie Gaven Michael Bradley Mark Lisi Amado Guevara Ante Razov Youri Djorkaeff (Sergio Galvan Rey 46).

Substitutes Not Used: Ramon Bailey Danilo da Silva Abbe Ibrahim Mike Magee Tony Meola Tim Regan Seth Stammler Ryan Suarez.

TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Ante Razov 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Ante Razov 3); FOULS: 8 (Chris Leitch 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Amado Guevara 1 Ante Razov 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Amado Guevara 5); SAVES: 1 (Zach Wells 1)

Misconduct Summary:
COL -- Alain Nkong (caution; Professional Foul) 31
COL -- Jeff Cunningham (caution; Professional Foul) 60
MET -- Chris Leitch (caution; Pushing Holding) 67

Referee: Alex Prus
Referee's Assistants: -George Gansner; Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Jorge Gonzalez
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-81-degrees