Jermaine Jones grabbed a debut goal as the Colorado Rapids defied the snow and the New York Red Bulls to seal their second successive victory.
The USMNT midfielder, playing in his first game after a six-match suspension, slotted home from Mekeil Williams’ cross midway through the first half.
Ronald Zubar headed home the equalizer on the hour but substitute Dominique Badji slid in the winner for the Rapids with eight minutes left.
The game was played in a snowstorm and, as a result, the start of both halves were delayed.
However, having beaten Sporting KC mid-week, this victory lifts Pablo Mastroeni’s side (4-2-1) to third in the Western Conference.
The Red Bulls (1-6-0) dropped to the bottom of the East.
The big news of the night concerned Jones, who was utilized in a more attacking midfield role than usual. His selection meant Marco Pappa moved to the right and Badji dropped to the bench. On defense, Williams replaced Dillon Serna at right back.
Unrelenting snow on Saturday placed a question mark over whether this game would go ahead at all. Only the sterling efforts of the Rapids stadium staff ensured the possibility. In the end, there was only a minor delay to the kickoff.
The Rapids had the early pressure, forcing a flurry of corners but never truly testing keeper Luis Robles. In fact the earliest sight of goal came when Bradley Wright-Phillips fired a shot wide of Zac MacMath’s far post.
In the 21st minute, Jones took center stage. He arrived on cue to slot home a fine low cross from Williams.
Ten minutes later the 34-year-old’s shot was parried by Robles and Luis Solignac headed it home. The ‘goal’ was flagged offside but, at the break, the Rapids deserved their lead.
After the interval, the Red Bulls were rejuvenated. They took the game to Rapids and pressed them back.
They would find the equalizer on the hour when Zubar powered home a header at the far post from Sacha Kljestan’s cross.
However that only came after Jones had set up Pappa to fire against the post at the other end.
The goal hit the Rapids hard but they gradually recovered. In the 78th minute, Sam Cronin’s cross found Badji, who was denied at close range by Robles.
The 2015 MLS SuperDraft found the corner of the net four minutes later from Jones’ astute throughball.
In added time, Badji hit the post from a similar move.
No matter, the Rapids had taken all three points from SnowClasico2.
Colorado Rapids 2-1 New York Red Bulls
April 16, 2016 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, CO
COL - Jermaine Jones 21’ (Williams)
NY - Ronald Zubar 60’ (Kljestan)
COL - Dominique Badji 82’ (Jones, Solignac)
Colorado Rapids: Zac MacMath, Mekeil Williams, Bobby Burling, Eric Miller, Marc Burch, Micheal Azira, Sam Cronin, Jermaine Jones, Marco Pappa (Dillon Serna 73’), Shkëlzen Gashi (Dominique Badji 65’), Luis Solignac (Conor Doyle 85’).
Subs not used: Chris Froschauer, Zach Pfeffer, Dillon Powers.
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles, Chris Duvall, Karl Ouimette (Lloyd Sam 87’), Kemar Lawrence, Ronald Zubar (Connor Lade 84’), Alex Muyl, Dax McCarty, Felipe, Mike Grella, Sacha Kljestan (Anatole Bertrand Abang 85’), Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Subs not used: Kyle Reynish, Zach Carroll, Sal Zizzo, Sean Davis.
NY - Mike Grella (caution) 36’
NY - Chris Duvall (caution) 64’
NY - Ronald Zubar (caution) 79’
NY - Kemar Lawrence (caution) 84’
COL - Conor Doyle (caution) 90’+1’