Rapids Re-Take Western Conference Lead With 2-1 Victory Over Dallas

COMMERCE CITY CO (Sunday June 1 2008) – The Colorado Rapids regained the top spot in the Western Conference with a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas in front of 12120 fans at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Sunday afternoon.
(To watch video highlights from the match click here).
The win was the Rapids’ first against Dallas since September 4 2004 a stretch of 11 games. It was also was the first time this season that Colorado won while giving up a goal.
Tom McManus scored the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute. It was his second goal in as many MLS games. Rafael Gomes played a long clearance that the Dallas defense misjudged. The Scottish forward ran onto the ball and headed the ball down to himself. With a Hoops defender closing in on him McManus snuck a ball inside the near post.
In the nets for the Rapids was Preston Burpo in place of Bouna Coundoul who is with the Senegalese National Team in World Cup qualifying. It was the first regular-season start in an MLS match for for Burpo since July 7 2007 when he manned the goal for Chivas USA against New England.
The Rapids struck first in the seventh minute when Conor Casey scored in his first start of the season. Christian Gomez intercepted a pass in midfield and placed a perfectly weighted through ball to Casey. After bringing the ball down the local Denver product cut around his defender and placed his shot past the Dallas 'keeper and into the far corner of the goal.
The goal was the earliest the Rapids had scored this year beating Terry Cooke’s 10th minute goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy on March 29.
In the 23rd minute Dallas had a break down the right wing but Facundo Erpen tracked back into his penalty area to slide the ball away.
Jacob Peterson nearly extended the home side’s lead in the 42nd minute. The third year player from Indiana University aggressively drove at the goal and took a shot from 24 yards out that skipped just wide of the far post.
Dallas evened the game up in the 44th minute when Dominic Oduro slid to knock in a ball that was loose in the Rapids penalty area.
Dallas ‘keeper Ray Burse made a great save in the 53rd minute. Tom McManus who recorded last week’s Sierra Mist MLS Goal of the Week hit a low shot from outside the penalty area that Burse dove to his right to steer away from the goal.
Halftime substitute Omar Cummings ran onto a ball in the 80th minute and took it into the penalty area where he worked to get room for himself to take a shot but Burse was there again to keep his team within one.
Burse also stopped a point blank shot from Cummings in the 88th minute after the Jamaican dribbled around multiple defenders.
Colorado now prepares for a busy week with two road matches over the next six days. This Wednesday June 4 at 6:00 p.m. MT the Rapids will travel to Kansas City to face the Wizards for a final "play-in" match to enter into the U.S. Open Cup Third Round.
The Rapids then return home for one day before departing for a Saturday contest against the Los Angeles Galaxy this Saturday June 7 at 8:30 p.m MT (live on Altitude).
Man of the Match: Tom McManus
Scoring Summary:
COL – Casey (C. Gomez) 7
DAL – Oduro (unassisted) 44
COL – McManus (Gomes) 72
Colorado Rapids – Preston Burpo Ugo Ihemelu Rafael Gomes Facundo Erpen Pablo Mastroeni Nick LaBrocca Jacob Peterson (Jordan Harvey 78) Christian Gomez Colin Clark (Terry Cooke 64) Tom McManus Conor Casey (Omar Cummings 45)
Substitutes not used: Chris Sharpe Stephen Keel Medhi Ballouchy Herculez Gomez
FC Dallas – Ray Burse Drew Moor Duilio Davino Aaron Pitchkolan Bobby Rhine Pablo Ricchetti Marcelo Saragosa Juan Toja (Ricardinho 83) Blake Wagner (Brek Shea 77) Kenny Cooper Dominic Oduro (Arturo Alvarez 71)
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Graczyk Eric Avila Andrew Daniels Michael Dello-Russo
Misconduct Summary:
COL – Mastroeni (Caution) 45
DAL – Saragosa (Caution) 90+
Referee: Yader Reyes
Referees Assts.: Craig Lowry; Rob Fereday
Fourth Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Attendance: 12120