CARSON, Calif. (March 26, 2011) – No Omar Cummings or Conor Casey in the starting lineup? No problem for the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids, who defeated Chivas USA, 1-0 at the Home Depot Center on Saturday.
In a chippy match that saw six yellows and numerous fouls, Quincy Amarikwa scored the lone tally, getting the Rapids on the board on a 32nd-minute breakaway. Colorado go to 2-0 to start the season for the first time ever, while the Rojiblancos are winless for their first two matches of the Robin Fraser era. The Rapids have now shut out Chivas USA four straight times dating back to 2009.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
The Rapids got on the board first when Jaime Smith played a ball to the streaking Amarikwa. The young forward beat the offside trap and chipped the ball over Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton before finish on the empty net. Amarikwa earned the start in place of Cummings.
With Cummings away on international duty and Conor Casey on the bench due to tightness in his left calf, the match was the first time that Rapids were without both players in the starting lineup for the first time since October 12, 2008, a span of 63 games. Casey eventually made an appearance late in the second half, playing 11 minutes in the victory.
Chivas USA had their best chance on goal in the 55th minute when Justin Braun sent in a dangerous cross that deflected off Rapids defenderAnthony Wallace and forced a save by Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens that rebounded off the bar, but was cleared from danger. On the whole, Chivas USA struggled to generate chances against the defending champions.
The Rojiblancos suffered serious injury woes when midfielder Blair Gavin, making his first start after an offseason hamstring injury, went down in the 29th minute after a collision with Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni. Early reports say that Gavin appears to have injured his left hamstring on the play, but there was no word on the severity.
Both teams will now look ahead to US Open Cup qualifying play during midweek. Chivas USA take on the Portland Timbers on Tuesday at the University of Portland, while the Rapids on the Chicago Fire in Peoria, Ill., on Wednesday before returning home to host DC United next Sunday.
COL -- Quincy Amarikwa 1 (Jamie Smith 1) 31
COL -- Brian Mullan (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 39
CHV -- Ben Zemanski (caution; Tactical Foul) 72
CHV -- Justin Braun (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 78
COL -- Matt Pickens (caution; Dissent) 79
COL -- Anthony Wallace (caution; Delaying a Restart) 81
COL -- Conor Casey (caution; Delaying a Restart) 89
COL -- Pablo Mastroeni (caution; Delaying a Restart) 96+
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace, Brian Mullan (Ross LaBauex 89), Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith, Quincy Amarikwa (Wells Thompson 68), Caleb Folan (Conor Casey 79)
Chivas USA -- Zach Thornton, Heath Pearce, Ben Zemanski, Jimmy Conrad, Ante Jazic (Tristan Bowen 76), Michael Lahoud, Nick LaBrocca, Blair Gavin (Mariano Trujillo 32), Justin Braun, Victor Estupinan, Marcos Mondaini (Francisco Mendoza 64).
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee's Assistants: Eric Boria; Corey Parker
4th Official: Landis Wiley
Time of Game: 1:55
Weather: Cloudy and 56 degrees