Rapids Win on Penalty Kicks Over LA in U.S. Open Cup Play-In Match

CARSON CA. (Tuesday April 7 2009) – The Colorado Rapids won in dramatic fashion over the LA Galaxy Tuesday night in qualifying for the 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at The Home Depot Center when goalkeeper Preston Burpo stopped a second penalty kick lifting the Rapids to victory.
(For the final play-by-play recap of the game via MatchTracker visit the Rapids Undercurrent by clicking here).
Colorado eliminates Los Angeles for the second consecutive year in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match. The Rapids now await the winner of the Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC match scheduled for April 28 for the opportunity to reach the Round of 16.
Facing each other for the second time in the last four days the Rapids used a valiant defensive effort to secure the win.
Both sides battled throughout the first 45 minutes of play with neither side holding too much of the advantage as the score remained deadlocked at 0-0 at the break.
Colorado’s best two scoring opportunities of the first half came from Jacob Peterson. In the 13th minute Peterson carried the ball down the left side of the pitch turning the corner at the end line before feeding a perfect pass to the penalty spot for Ross Schunk. Schunk seeing his first career action for the Rapids pushed his shot wide right.
Peterson would have a second scoring chance in the 31st minute when he stole the ball from Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter at the edge of the box. Looking at open space to the net his shot would go wide left of the target.
The biggest play of the half came in the 36th minute when Greg Dalby was issued a red card following his slide tackle foul on Stefani Miglioranzi on a 50/50 ball.
Near the end of regulation both teams created excellent scoring chances. Los Angeles’ Alan Gordon found himself with the ball in the box after it slid through two Rapids defenders but with his second touch chipped it high over the crossbar.
In the 86th Terry Cooke hit his shot wide left after Colorado creativity worked for an open look inside the penalty area.
The Galaxy controlled the first 15 minute overtime session with the Rapids not able to muster a shot but the score stayed at 0-0.
In the second overtime period Colorado showed a lot more spirit and were able to create several quality scoring chances even earning their first two corner kicks of the match. But still in the end the goal tally showed no results moving the match into a penalty kick situation.
Omar Cummings calmly stepped up and converted the first PK for Colorado. LA followed with a goal from Alan Gordon. Mehdi Ballouchy buried his chance to put the pressure back on the Galaxy. Chris Klein could not make good as Burpo saved his shot with a dive to his left. Colin Clark put the Rapids ahead with a confident shot to the back of the net. LA did their best to keep pace as Bryan Jordan scored making the count 3-2. Ugo Ihemelu with a two step approach made good on his opportunity for Colorado setting up Burpo's game winning heroics. Mike Magee became victim number two for LA as the Rapids ‘keeper saved the shot and the winning visitors rushed the pitch.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup the U.S. Soccer Federation’s National Championship is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. It is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world.
The top six MLS teams from 2008 qualified for the Open Cup while the Rapids and the other seven American teams in MLS are forced to go through qualifying to reach the tournament.
For more on the US Open Cup visit the tournament's official website by clicking here.
Colorado returns to regular season action this Saturday traveling to face the defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew on April 11 at 5:30 pm MT at Crew Stadium.
AT&T Rapids Man of the Match: Preston Burpo
Scoring Summary:
Penalty Kick Summary:
COL- Cummings (Goal)
LA- Gordon (Goal)
COL- Ballouchy (Goal)
LA- Klein (Saved)
COL- Clark (Goal)
LA- Jordan (Goal)
COL- Ihemelu (Goal)
LA- Magee (Saved)
Colorado Rapids: Preston Burpo Kosuke Kimura (Ugo Ihemelu 75) Ty Harden Scott Palguta Ivan Guerrero Colin Clark Terry Cooke (Jordan Harvey 90) Greg Dalby Nick LaBrocca (Mehdi Ballouchy 46) Jacob Peterson Ross Schunk (Omar Cummings 63)
Substitutes Not Used: Steward Ceus Michael Holody Gregory Richardson
LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders Omar Gonzalez (Josh Tudela 91) Gregg Berhalter (Mike Magee 74) Yohance Marshall A.J. DeLaGarza Sean Franklin Jovan Kirovski Stefani Miglioranzi Kyle Patterson (Chris Klein 61) Tristan Bowen (Alan Gordon 61) Bryan Jordan
Substitutes Not Used: Miguel Benitez Todd Dunivant Julian Valentin
Misconduct Summary:
COL- Dalby (serious foul play) 36
LA- Gonzalez (reckless tackle) 41
LA- Marshall (reckless tackle) 63
LA- Magee (dissent) 109
Referee: Abiodun Okulaja
Referee's Assistants: Ian Anderson Brandon Whitson
4th Official: Kevin Scott
Attendance: 6219

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