COMMERCE CITY CO (Sunday September 14 2008) – The Colorado Rapids vaulted themselves back into the top three in the Western Conference and into MLS playoff contention with a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire Sunday afternoon at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
With the victory the Rapids also kept Chicago winless in Colorado this century; the Fire have not recorded 3 points in the Centennial State since the 1999 season dating back to the Rapids' playing days at Old Mile High Stadium.
The win gives the Rapids back-to-back victories for the first time this season and was Colorado’s sixth home shutout on the year.
(To watch video highlights from this match click here).
With six games remaining in the regular season the Rapids find themselves tied with Chivas USA for the final guaranteed playoff spot in the Western Conference; the Rapids currently lead Chivas in the standings with more wins.
The Rapids scored two first half goals and were able to withstand a second half charge by the Fire to hold on for the win.
In the 30th minute Jordan Harvey was able to track down a ball headed for the endline and with a sliding effort sent the ball across the face of the net. Chicago goalkeeper Jon Busch mishandled Harvey’s kick directing it into his own goal. Before Bakary Soumare could clear it from the net the referee’s assistant ruled the ball had crossed the line for a score. Busch was credited on the play with an own goal giving the Rapids an early 1-0 lead.
Omar Cummings put Colorado up by two goals just seven minutes later with his fifth score of the season. Receiving a pass from Terry Cooke Cummings turned with the ball and two touches later fired a low rocket from 25 yards out that went past a diving Busch to the left post.
Chicago outshot the Rapids seven to three in the second half as Preston Burpo made a pair of beautiful saves in the closing minutes to keep the clean sheet.
The Rapids finish a back-to-back home stand against another top team in the Eastern Conference as they host the New England Revolution this Saturday September 20 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm MT.
Man of the Match: Preston Burpo
COL – Own Goal (Busch) - 30
COL – Cummings (Cooke) - 37
Chicago Fire: Jon Busch; Brandon Prideaux (Justin Mapp) 61 Bakary Soumare Wilman Conde; John Thorrington Cuauhtemoc Blanco Stephen King (Andy Herron) 61 Logan Pause Diego Gutierrez; Brian McBride (Tomasz Frankowski) 82 Chris Rolfe
Substitutes Not Used: Nick Noble Peter Lowry Lider Marmol Gonzalo Segares
Colorado Rapids: Preston Burpo; Kosuke Kimura Cory Gibbs Mike Petke (Ugo Ihemelu) 66 Jordan Harvey; Terry Cooke (Mehdi Ballouchy) 70 Nick LaBrocca Pablo Mastroeni Colin Clark; Omar Cummings Tom McManus (Conor Casey) 79.
Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul Facundo Erpen Christian Gomez Jacob Peterson
CHI – Thorrington (Caution) 41
CHI – Soumare (Caution) 47
CHI - Conde (Caution) 84
COL – Mastroeni (Caution) 56
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referees Assts.: Chris Strickland Jason Cullum
Fourth Official: Ben Chouaf