The Colorado Rapids defeated the Philadelphia Union, 2-1, Friday night with a performance fitting of an MLS Champion.
It was a sold out crowd in the 93 degree PPL Park. The Philadelphia Union came out strong, with Justin Mapp just missing a powerful shot within the first two minutes. This was followed by a handful of attempts, each one either blocked by the crossbar or Matt Pickens.
After the Union had their fun, the Rapids decided it was their turn. In the 35thminute, captain Pablo Mastroeni received a pass from Brian Mullan, cut in towards the goal, and expertly shot the ball into the back of the net, 1-0 Rapids.
Ten minutes later, the Rapids newest dangerous duo attacked. Omar Cummings anticipated the steps of Sanna Nyassi, and directly placed the ball at the Gambian’s feet. Nysassi flawlessly forced the ball into the goal, making the halftime score Rapids 2, Union 0.
Philadelphia came back from halftime prepared for a comeback. With two substitutions made, the Union forced the Rapids to either step up their defense or surrender. The Rapids stayed strong.
Things got worse for the Union as Sheanon Williams became upset about a foul, and landed himself a yellow card. The defender continued to argue with the ref. Thanks to HD television, fans know it wasn’t an invititation to come over for cheesesteak. The ref quickly pulled out the red card, and the Union continued with ten men on the field.
It was looking like it would be a shut out, but the Rapids defense were starting to crumble. In the 92ndminute, Roger Torres scored the final goal of the match. The Union continued to fight and made one last attempt, but Matt Pickens had a save that is worthy of being nominated for “Save of the Week”. The final score Rapids 2, Union 1.
Watch: full match highlights.
The good: Coach Smith has finally found his winning starting XI. Mainly with the addition of Omar Cummings and Sanna Nyassi, this squad seems unbeatable.
The great: Pablo Mastroeni’s performance proudly displayed his talent and experience. He reminded fans of why he is the captain.
The awesome: Matt Pickens. His goal saving skills are quickly making him one of the best goalies in MLS.