Rapids Earn Road Point at DC United With Kyle Beckerman's 5th Goal of Season

WASHINGTON D.C. (Saturday August 19 2006)- The Colorado Rapids earned a point on the road today in a 1-1- tie at RFK Stadium against league-leading DC United.

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

United now has taken just three points from their last four games and have been unable to beat the Rapids this year losing 2-1 to Colorado in Denver on May 6.

Despite Colorado's full complement of strikers coach Fernando Clavijo elected to leave Thiago Martins alone up top in front of a five-man midfield designed to clog and crowd the home side's passing game. But with Beckerman flanked by wingers Nicolas Hernandez and Jacob Peterson the Rapids could still call on some attacking flair. It nearly paid off early as Beckerman surged forward to combine with former United man Martins five minutes into the match forcing Facundo Erpen to concede a corner as the Brazilian tried to latch onto the former U.S. youth international's curling diagonal ball into the box.

Colorado netted the first goal of the game in the 32nd minute when midfielder Kyle Beckerman headed a corner kick past goalkeeper Troy Perkins. Beckerman beat DC defender Facundo Erpen to Niko Hernandez's outswinging delivery and nodded a bouncing header under Perkins' arm and into the net.

Just before halftime Thiago Martins came close to scoring the Rapids' second of the afternoon. The Brazilian striker was sent deep with a through ball by Nicolas Hernandez. The pass forced Perkins to leave his line and dive for the striker’s feet. But Martins cut left and left the 'keeper on the turf grasping at air and though it was an acute angle he had a fairly simple finish into the empty net. However his curling shot carried mere inches beyond the far post allowing D.C. to dodge another bullet.

The equalizer for the home team came in the 56th minute when after an extended siege on the Rapids' goal United finally found their tying goal. Alecko Eskandarian's deflected shot fell to Jaime Moreno just outside the six-yard box and he sent Mike Petke flying with a sharp cutback before slotting a square pass to Christian Gomez who found the back of the net even after Joe Cannon got a hand to the shot.

While Colorado did their best to kill off the final minutes United pressed until the very end with an urgency that was lacking in the first stanza. Gros snatched at the bouncing ball that fell to him in the Rapids box just minutes from time rifling well high under pressure from Mastroeni and it proved to be his side's last clear chance as the massed ranks of white jerseys stifled United and preserved Colorado's fully-deserved road point.

Despite some late chances by Martins deep in DC's end the Rapids were not able to find a late game-winner and the match ended with the two sides drawn at 1-1.

The Rapids Reserves will take on the DC United Reserves tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. (MT) before traveling to Los Angeles for a US Open Cup quarterfinal match against the Galaxy on Wednesday night. The team will then travel to Chicago where they will take on the Fire on Saturday August 26 at Toyota Park.

Colorado Rapids (9-8-5) vs. D.C. United (13-2-8) August 19 2006 -- RFK Stadium

Scoring Summary: COL -- Kyle Beckerman 5 (Nicolas Hernandez 5) 32 DC -- Christian Gomez 8 (Jaime Moreno 6) 56

Colorado Rapids -- Joe Cannon Hunter Freeman Aitor Karanka Mike Petke Dan Gargan Nicolas Hernandez Kyle Beckerman Pablo Mastroeni Daniel Wasson (Colin Clark 83) Jacob Peterson Thiago Martins
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Jordan Stephen Keel Jovan Kirovski Clint Mathis Fabrice Noel Melvin Tarley

D.C. United -- Troy Perkins David Stokes (Jamil Walker 46) Bobby Boswell Facundo Erpen Freddy Adu Brian Carroll Christian Gomez (Domenic Mediate 70) Ben Olsen Joshua Gros Alecko Eskandarian (Rod Dyachenko 87) Jaime Moreno
Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Carroll Brandon Prideaux Nick Rimando Clyde Simms

Misconduct Summary:
DC -- Brian Carroll (caution; Reckless Foul) 6
COL -- Thiago Martins (caution; Dissent) 61
DC -- Alecko Eskandarian (caution; Reckless Foul) 84
COL -- Mike Petke (caution; Dissent) 90

Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: Nate Clement; Bill Dittmar
4th official: Mark Geiger
time of game: 1:51
attendance: 18006
weather: Partly Cloudy -and- 87 degrees