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A trio of goals leads Rapids

April 18, 2010 | 9:10 pm 2
By Mike Martinez

As Pablo Mastroeni watches as Conor Casey fires home one of two penalty kicks during Sunday's 3-1 win over Toronto FC. (Photo by Jessica Taves/ColoradoSoccerNow.com)

A trio of free-kicks propelled the Colorado Rapids past Toronto F.C., with a 3-1 victory Sunday on a clear day at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The win brings the Rapids to 2-1-1 on the season and second place in the western conference.

 In a first half that saw little action, Conor Casey netted his second goal of the season with a cheeky penalty kick, chipped just over Toronto F.C. keeper Stefan Frei. The penalty came after forward Omar Cummings made a dash into the box then cut back on defender Adrian Cann who slipped and handled the ball with his arm to prevent Cummings from a scoring opportunity. Casey then converted with confidence and composure.

“I’d like to be more productive out of the run of play,” Casey said, “it hasn’t come yet, but the important thing is we win and get three points.”

The half stayed mostly uneventful in the Rapids defensive third thanks to the athleticism of center back Marvell Wynne and a well organized back four, with tight marking and active tracking. Smart defending allowed goalkeeper Matt Pickens a stress-free start.

The second half started with chants of “Glory, Glory Colo-ra-do” from the Rapids cheering section and more stellar defense from defender Marvell Wynne, displaying his speed and agility as well as reassurance for his signing.

Toronto midfielder Martin Saric was booked in the 45th minute for a hard tackle before teammate and Captain Dwayne De Rosario converted a penalty kick in the 58th minute to the right of goalkeeper Matt Pickens. Pickens was called with the foul for bringing down Toronto midfielder Sam Cronin after he had found space in the box.

 Rapid’s Coach Gary Smith admitted he was uneasy after the equalizer, but his fears were put to ease in the 71st minute when midfielder Jeff Larentowicz scored a freekick from the corner of the box, splitting the wall and beating Frei near-post.

 “To concede was a concern, at that point you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, and Jeff gave us that.” Coach Smith said.

 Casey then gave Smith and the Rapids their final assurance when he was brought down in the box by T.F.C. defender Makism Usanov after a dangerous cross from Cummings. Casey stepped to the spot cool and confident once again and netted his third goal in four games to the right of Frei.

The Rapids earned a solid home win with convincing play over a Toronto side who were much weaker on the day. The Rapids face the Revolution next Saturday in New England where they will look to continue their run of form.

Reunion: Four former Rapids took the field. Nick LaBrocca and Ty Harden started, with Jacob Peterson and Dan Gargan coming on in the second half. Each side used all three substitutes on a sunny, dry and nearly perfect day.

Rapids Starters: Pickens, Danny Earls (Scott Palguta, 83rd), Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Kosuke Kimura, Colin Clark (Qunicy Amarikwa, 68th), Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith (Wells Thompson, 59th), Omar Cummings, Casey.

Toronto Starters: Frei, Maksim Usanov, Adrian Cann, Nana Attakora, Harden, LaBrocca (Peterson, 60th), Julian de Guzman, Sam Cronin, Martin Saric (Gargan, 80th), De Rosario, Chad Barrett (O’Brian White, 66th).

Next Up: Larentowicz and Thompson face their former teammates as the Rapids travel to the New England Revolution for a Saturday contest.

Road Warriors: The Rapids are entering a spell of playing four of the next five games on the road. The loan home game in that stretch is a May 5 match against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy are currently the class of the league with a 4-0-0 record and Edson Buddle scoring seven goals in those four games.

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  • george tanner said:

    once again, looks like a lot of empty seats. coloradans just don’t seem to like afternoon rapids games. everybody’s out on their bicycles or climbing rocks or shearing their alpacas or whatever. how ’bout some football?

  • Jessica Taves said:

    No it’s our vicuna!

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