Commerce City – Having come out of four straight draws in which he scored just four goals, Colorado Rapids needed a confidence boost.
With the team that took last place in the city’s Western Conference, they got exactly what the doctor ordered.
Jonathan Lewis, Nico Mizquida and Auston Trosti scored goals to lead the Rapids to a 3-0 victory.
“I think it was a big match for us,” said William Yarbro. “We came out of two home draws and we knew we needed to do something different. We needed to change equipment, try to get a good result at home with our fans and continue to put ourselves in a good place in the league and I think we saw that day. Everyone was mentally locked in.”
This is the first time that the Burgundy Boys have scored three goals in a game since August 14, when they beat the Houston Dynamo 3-1.
“To get the win and take back that winning feeling, and you feel like you really spent yourself playing at the right pace and pushing yourselves,” said head coach Robin Fraser. “To do all that to win, I think that will only boost the team’s confidence and self-confidence.”
Captain Jack Price has been producing all season and showed why he was one of the Rapids’ most consistent players on Wednesday night. He finished with two assists on a night where he was once again all over the field.
“Everyone who looks at the great assists and the set pieces are literally second to none in my opinion,” Fraser said. “But the things you don’t talk about are the selfless moments where he’s running for cover or defending or running across the floor behind defenders because that’s just what he has to do. Or the times when he’s going to take the ball in very difficult places with a lot of people around and because of his awareness he is able to Finding the right path not only to get us out of that but to really start attacking. There is a lot in his game which makes him an excellent player.”
Rapids scored his eleventh clean sheet this season, which tied for the first time in the NBA and leads the Western Conference. The goalkeeper, Yarbro, started every game for the Rapids and had a stronghold for them between the pipes but believes the clean sheets were the result of a team effort.
“It’s not just the defense that gets the clean sheet, it’s the work of the whole team,” Yarbro said. “The attention to detail, the training sessions and the work that everyone does during the 90 minutes of games. It starts with the strikers all the way to the goalkeeper and I think it just shows the harmony that this team has and the understanding we have of what Robben is asking of us.”
The 11 clean sheets is a new club record for most individual keepers of the season. Yarbro sustained a knee injury in the second half – a frightening moment for the club and its fans – and managed to end the match.
“I’m fine,” Yarbro said. “My knee is a little swollen and I feel a little tight but I wanted to stay on the field and help my team-mates to get this win.”
Not only did the Rapids need to win, but they also needed to see some goals in the net to gain confidence as the first-placed Seattle Sounders visit this weekend. They currently sit three points behind the Sounders with the same amount of games played.
It’s a tough job for any team in one of the toughest places to play in the MLS, but if the Rapids can find a way to squeeze three points, they could find themselves at the top of the Western Conference standings by Sunday.