The Colorado Rapids traveled to Kansas City hoping to play spoiler and they did, downing Sporting KC in a 3-2 comeback win. SKC went out to an early lead with goals from Gerso (3’) and an own goal from Rapids defender Tommy Smith (14’) to take an early 2-0 lead. The game changed when a second yellow was issued to SKC midfielder Matt Besler and Colorado was able to take advantage, cutting the lead to 2-1 at halftime on Kei Kamara’s bicycle kick goal in the 42nd minute.
Colorado drew even in the second half on a Diego Rubio goal in the 76th minute before Tommy Smith redeemed himself by scoring the game winner on a header in the 85th minute, securing the 3-2 victory.
Here are three takeaways from Colorado’s 3-2 win over SKC:
Price of admission
Jack Price has answered all doubts on whether he can be a set piece specialist, and with great vigor.
With Price’s assist of Kamara in the first half in Kansas City, Price set a mark for the most set piece assists since 2010(9), passing LA Galaxy’s David Beckham(8) and SKC’s Graham Zusi(8).
“I’ve actually told him that his deliveries haven’t been good enough because he had a few free kicks in the first half that hit the first man,” Rapids defender Tommy Smith joked post-match. “I’d like to think I claim an assist for the assist.”
On a more serious note, Smith offered praise for his English comrade, saying,
“Obviously, all season his delivery has been top notch and hats off to him for getting that MLS record. It’s fully deserved and hopefully we can get a couple more for him before the season finishes.”
Price offered a humbled response to securing the assist mark.
“I just put the ball in the box,” he said. “I just put it in a good area and hopefully people get their heads on it and they do. It’s a proud moment for me to get a record like that. There are some high caliber players I took over and it’s a nice feeling. But, like I said, I just do what I do and hopefully somebody gets their head on it.”
You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone
Perhaps fittingly, two of Colorado’s goals were score by former SKC players, Kei Kamara and Diego Rubio.
“I still call it home,” said Kamara. “It’s nice to come back home and play in front of friends and family, but tonight was special because we came up with all three points.”
Kamara’s bicycle kick to pull back a goal was a highlight-reel worthy effort.
“It’s weird to say, but I actually had a dream about it,” added Kamara. “The only other time I’ve score a half bicycle scissor was in this stadium. The goal gave us a little bit of momentum going back out there.”
In the second half, Rubio bagged the equalizer, which was huge in gaining second half momentum.
“I don’t know how Diego feels on the inside, but I’m sure he feels great,” said Kamara.
Keep Fighting 2.0?
In a span of minutes, the 2019 Colorado Rapids season went from the near brink of mathematical elimination to still holding on to a breath of life in the playoff race. At time of writing Colorado (39 points) still is mathematically alive in the Western Conference, and still has a hope of surpassing FC Dallas, Portland and San Jose if they win out and receive help in other results. It’s impressive for a team that went winless for 10 games to start the season under former head coach Anthony Hudson.
Their comeback win on Saturday was further evidence of the resilience that the team has brought back in the second half of the season and continues to be fostered under head coach Robin Fraser.
“Credit to [SKC], they took their chances and we dug ourselves a hole once again, but I talk about this every week it seems like, it’s the resiliency of the team,” said Fraser. “Even being down two goals in spite of being up a man, that’s a tough situation. This is an organized team. They’ve done this before. They sat back in and made it very difficult for us to create scoring chances, but we were pretty relentless in our endeavor to go forward. Certainly, things could have been better and cleaner. We would have liked to see the game be more controlled, but at the end of the day you can’t fault the effort.”