July 4, 2002 at Invesco Field at Mile High

Rapids July 4th Recaps: 2002-2006

PART I: 1996-2001

July 4, 2002: For the 5th time in seven July 4th game, the visitors took the lead as the Chicago Fire's Ante Razov scored just nine minutes in. Trailing 1-0 at the half, Rapids coach Tim Hankinson replaced defender Jeff Stewart with Chris Carrieri to begin the second half, and the young forward gave his coach, and the all-time record crowd of 61,213, a performance of a lifetime. Carrieri tied the game in the 57th when he finished a give-and-go with Mark Chung, but Chicago regained the lead again when former Rapids midfielder Jason Moore scored in the 69th. The stage was set for another dramatic ending. In the 82nd, Carrieri evened the match with a cross-goal shot that hit side net, and he recorded the second hat trick in club history - both on July 4 - when he finished another Chung pass in the 87th to clinch the Rapids' 3-2 victory.

Rapids lineup: David Kramer, Ritchie Kotschau (Zach Kingsley 74), Jeff Stewart (Chris Carrieri 46), Robin Fraser, Wes Hart, Mark Chung, Chris Henderson, Kyle Beckerman (Raul Palacios 57), Carlos Valderrama, John Spencer.

JULY 4, 2003: By this time, fans were used to two facts on the annual July 4th game. The opposing team usually scored first, and the Rapids usually scored late to win the game. Preki gave visiting Kansas City the lead in the 23rd minute, but John Spencer's penalty kick just before the halftime whistle evened the match. With more than 60,000 fans cheering the team on, Mark Chung scored in the 77th, and it all but looked like the Rapids had the win. However, Kansas City's Steven Armstrong's cross in the 91st minute was misread by Rapids goalkeeper Scott Garlick and the game was suddenly tied. And, before the crowd had a chance to grasp what had happened, Chung brought them into hysteria less than a minute later as he scored his second of the game in the 92nd to give the Rapids the 3-2 win.

Rapids lineup: Scott Garlick, Wes Hart, Nat Borchers, Robin Fraser, Ritchie Kotschau, Zach Kingsley (Chris Henderson 46), Pablo Mastroeni, Seth Trembly (Kyle Beckerman 80), Mark Chung, Chris Carrieri, John Spencer.

JULY 4, 2004: In only his third game, Cuban Alberto Delgado scored his first, and only, MLS goal in the 74th minute to give the host Rapids the 1-0 win over the New England Revolution. Many of the 41,979 at Invesco Field were confused when they heard that Alberto Delgago had scored. You see, Degado wore his mother's maiden name, Perez, on his jersey, which he had done so throughout his career. Despite wearing that name, all public references to his last name were always Delgado. The win extended the Rapids 4th of July record to 8-1, with six of those victories coming off goals scored with less than 20 minutes to play.

Rapids lineup: Joe Cannon, Nat Borchers, Antonio de la Torre, Ritchie Kotschau, Pablo Mastroeni, Kyle Beckerman (Seth Trembly 74), Jordan Cila (Daryl Powell 60), Matt Crawford, Chris Henderson, John Spencer, Alberto Delgado (Gary Sullivan 86).

JULY 4, 2005: Once again, the visitors scored first when Kansas City's Chris Klein put away a Ryan Pore pass just five minutes into the match. And once again, the Rapids came back to win, this time playing with 10 men after forward Jean Philippe Peguero was ejected in the 40th minute. Trailing 1-0 in the second half, Alain Nkong tied the game a 1-1 with a goal in the 57th, and substitute Terry Cooke scored his first MLS goal just four minutes later off a freekick to give the Rapids the 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.

Rapids lineup: Joe Cannon, Nat Borchers, Ritchie Kotschau, Rickly Lewis (Terry Cooke 46), Mike Petke, Leo Cullen, Eric Denton, Luchi Gonzalez (Kyle Beckerman 46), Alain Nkong (Dan Gargan 83), Jeff Cunningham, Jean Philippe Peguero.

July 4, 2006: A new element was introduced to the annual celebration, as lightening caused the game between the Rapids and New England Revolution to be delayed by almost an hour. The Rapids' Nicolas Hernandez headed in a Terry Cooke corner kick in 13th which broke the game open, literally. A minute later, the teams were sent to the locker room as lightening caused a 50-minute delay. When they returned to play, the Revs' Clint Dempsey tied the game in the 26th. And, a minute into stoppage time, Hernandez sprung Kyle Beckerman on a one-v-one and the midfielder converted to give the Rapids the 2-1 halftime lead. Hernandez sealed the game with his second of the night in the 69th minute. New England's Taylor Twellman got one back in second half stoppage time, but the Rapids held on for the 3-2 win.

Rapids lineup: Joe Cannon, Hunter Freeman, Aitor Karanka, Mike Petke, Kyle Beckerman, Dedi Ben Dayan (Jacob Peterson 65), Terry Cooke (Dan Gargan 89), Eric Denton, Pablo Mastroeni, Nicolas Hernandez (Clint Mathis 78), Jovan Kirovski.