The Colorado Rapids Soccer Club extended their home unbeaten streak in regular season to 19 games after earning a hard-fought 2-2 draw against expansion side Minnesota United FC. Dominique Badji and Marlon Hairston found the next for the Rapids on a wild Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Pablo Mastroeni made four changes to the starting lineup from last week’s 1-0 road defeat at New York Red Bulls. Bobby Burling and Mekeil Williams stepped into the backline in place of the injured Axel Sjöberg and Eric Miller. In the attack, Kevin Doyle and Shkëlzen Gashi replaced Dillon Powers and Caleb Calvert.
The Rapids dominated most of the possession and were rewarded with the first goal of the night through Badji’s persistent play in the attacking zone. The Senegalese striker was able to beat Bobby Shuttleworth at the near post after a poor giveaway by Minnesota’s defense.
The lead would last until five minutes into the second half, as Kevin Molino would tie things up from the spot at the 50 minute mark after Williams took down Collen Warner inside the box. Eight minutes later, Christian Martinez flicked in a decently placed cross past Tim Howard, thus giving the Loons their first-ever lead in MLS.
Hairston would get the equalizer a minute later, getting on the end of a perfectly served cross from Marc Burch at the far post. The Rapids had a few chances to send Minnesota home with their third consecutive loss, but both teams would have to settle for the draw.
The Rapids get two bye weeks before returning to league play. Next up for Mastroeni’s side is a road contest at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, April 9 (5:00 p.m. MT - FS1). Currently, the Rapids (1-1-1; 4 points) occupy the sixth place in the Western Conference.
Colorado Rapids 2-2 Minnesota United FC
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, CO
Saturday, March 18, 2017
COL: Dominique Badji (unassisted) 17’
MIN: Kevin Molino (PK) 50'
MIN: Christian Ramirez (Jerome Thiesson) 58'
COL: Marlon Hairston (Marc Burch) 59’’
MIN: Collen Warner (caution) 41'
COL: Sam Cronin (caution) 57’
MIN: Jerome Thiesson (caution) 64'
MIN: Justin Davis (ejection) 70'
COL: Mekeil Williams (caution) 89’
MIN: Bobby Shuttleworth (caution) 90’+4’'
MIN: Abu Danladi (caution) 90’+5’
Colorado Rapids: Tim Howard; Mekeil Williams, Jared Watts, Bobby Burling, Marc Burch; Micheal Azira, Sam Cronin (Nana Boateng 82’), Kevin Doyle; Marlon Hairston (Alan Gordon 74’), Shkëlzen Gashi (Dillon Serna 61’), Dominique Badji.
Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Kortne Ford, Dillon Powers, Caleb Calvert.
Minnesota United FC: Bobby Shuttleworth; Justin Davis, Franciso Calvo, Brent Kallman, Jerome Thiessen; Collen Warner, Miguel Ibarra, Rasmus Schüller (Ibson HT), Johan Venegas (Abu Danladi 69’), Kevin Molino (Bashkim Kadrii 69’); Christian Ramirez.
Subs not used: Billy Heavner, Jermaine Taylor, Vadim Demidov, Mohammed Saeid.
Colorado Rapids: 1-1-1 (4 points)
Minnesota United FC: 0-2-1 (1 point)