COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Alan Gordon has been a late-game hero for the Colorado Rapids, but he wouldn’t be able to do it without a lot of help from teammate Mohammed Saeid.
Saeid’s cross found Gordon in the Rapids’ 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday night, showing the signs to the positive that the attacking pair is starting to develop on-field chemistry.
“Me and Saeid, we’re like twins,” Gordon cracked to reporters following the win. “Very odd, adopted twins. We jell really nice together. We’ve been playing well together the last week or so. We’ve got a great connection and for him to serve that ball in was fantastic.”
Nearly three months into his Rapids tenure since joining Colorado via trade, Saeid is finally beginning to settle into his role as the engine to Colorado’s attack. It’s earned high praise from Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni.
“He’s done a really great job at connecting passes and helping us catch our breath with the ball,” Mastroeni explained. “In the right moment, he’s able to play forward and change his pace, start the attack from deep positions, but really get higher up the field. He set Gordo up on that second goal and he’s been a really instrumental player for our group. He’s just an all-around fantastic footballer.”
Inserting Saeid centrally was a key adjustment to Colorado’s win, according to Mastroeni. After making the change in the second half, Colorado turned the tide of possession in its favor, and generated three of its five shots on target, including the two goals.
“Putting [Saeid] in the middle of the field gave us some more calm on the ball,” explained Mastroeni. “Putting Mo in the middle and bringing Serna on I think was critical to our ability to possess and our shape behind the ball.”
Saeid capped off a successful second half effort in which he completed more than 30 passes with the helper on Gordon’s game winner. The goal shocked the Timbers, but for his part, Saeid wasn’t surprised.
“Not really,” he said. “You’ve just got to put it in the right area.”
But with a calm and soft-spoken demeanor, Saeid is never one to take all the credit following a win. His teammates are OK with that.
“He did most of the work, I’ll take credit,” Gordon joked. “We’ll keep going.”