The Rapids took care of business
Jack Price wasted no time putting the Rapids in front just two minutes into the contest with a beautiful shot into the corner that beat Clint Irwin. That strike set the tone for the afternoon and let a young Toronto FC side know it was going to be an uphill battle. As a visiting team, it’s hard enough to come to elevation and grind out a result, even when you’re rested and at full strength. When you find yourself down a goal before you’ve potentially even had a touch on the ball, it’s even more taxing mentally and physically. Yes, it took the Rapids some time to put the game to rest, but it wasn’t for a lack of chances. Irwin made some huge saves and kept the score from getting out of hand.
National publications and TFC fans will make sure to note that Greg Vanney didn’t have his first-choice lineup at hand. That shouldn’t matter to anyone, especially those in the home dressing room. You can only play the team that’s in front of you on the day. The Rapids did just that and secured an important three points in the process.
Saturday was about more than wins and losses
Sports have the power to bring community together like few things can and seeing Kortne and his mom, Laurie, together during a special halftime ceremony with Laurie’s seventh grade students reminded everyone in attendance that many times sports are merely just a platform to help those in need and to provide a voice to important causes. Wins and losses come and go. Players and coaches come and go. It’s the community, and the club’s place in that community, that endure.
It was a special moment, and one that hopefully provides Laurie with some extra strength to #KeepFighting in her battle with cancer. I know she has the support of the club, players, and the entire Rapids community.
First minutes for Boli & Gashi
Two pieces of the 2018 attacking puzzle stepped on the field for the first time this season. Shkëlzen Gashi replaced Jack McBean in the 69th minute and Yannick Boli made his debut in burgundy 10 minutes later, subbing on for Enzo Martinez. Gashi coolly converted a penalty in the 78th minute after Dominique Badji was fouled in the box by TFC defender Liam Fraser.
It was an important step for both high-profile attacking players to see action on Saturday, and great to get Gashi on the scoresheet. This is a long, long season, and the fact that two attacking options are rounding into form as we approach the busy summer months is a great sign for fans of the burgundy and blue.
Side note on Badji – he was an absolute beast again against the Reds. He put in the effort on the defensive end, returned from a big collision with Tim Howard and ran at (and past) TFC defenders all afternoon. In all three home matches, he’s been the most dangerous player on either side and I can guarantee you I’m not the only one to notice his impressive start to the season.