COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Maybe the Rapids just saved their best for Pablo.
On the night the Colorado Rapids inducted head coach Pablo Mastroeni into their Gallery of Honor, his team put together arguably their most complete all-around performance of the season, lashing a weakened Chivas USA 3-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Friday night, snapping a three-game winless skid in the process.
Midfielder Nick LaBrocca’s 16th minute off-balance curler and Drew Moor’s header off a corner 10 minutes later gave the Rapids a comfortable 2-0 lead, while Gabriel Torres tacked on his first goal of the season in the 75th minute to put the match to bed. The win vaults them into third spot in the Western Conference standings.
Meanwhile, Chivas lost for the second straight week following their four-game win streak as they struggled to muster much in the way of opportunities together, particularly in the first half.
Out of the gate the Rapids quickly showed their attacking intentions. Dillon Serna’s second-minute shot nearly had the Rapids up early, in front of an energized crowd, but the youngster’s blast from just outside the 18 rattled off the post.
But a quarter hour later and the Rapids made a deserved breakthrough. After Vicente Sanchez’s initial shot was blocked, LaBrocca took the rebound from just outside the 18 and curled in a left-footed effort off the post and in for his first goal of the season and his first since last July 17th, 2013.
Not long after that, the Rapids doubled their lead. Dillon Powers’ perfectly-placed corner was met by Moor, who made no mistake with his open header and blasted it straight into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead in the 26th minute.
On the other side of the half, the Rapids continued to push forward, and they were rewarded for their efforts in the 75th minute when Torres collected his first goal of the season. Making his first start since May 7th, the Rapids’ first Designated Player in franchise history beat helpless Chivas ‘keeper Dan Kennedy with a right-footed curling shot to round out the rout, making Mastroeni a happy man on his special night.
After scoring in his previous six games, star Chivas striker Erick Torres could not find the back of the net for the seventh straight game, a feat that would have tied an MLS record. But the visitors did not even trouble Colorado, racking up only one shot on goal all game.
The Rapids have a short week, playing at New England on Wednesday (5:30pm MT, Altitude), before returning home to face rivals Real Salt Lake in the second leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup (August 2, TICKETS).
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Gabriel Torres||His teammates were feeding him the ball all night, but he looked up for it, and may be turning the corner in his MLS career|
|2||Dillon Powers||PIcked up an assist and put in an assured performance that prevented Chivas from getting any traction|
|3||Dillon Serna||Had a very close call with his shot off the post, but Serna was dangerous all game, and chipped in with an assist of his own|