Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park the Rapids beat the New England Revolution 3 goals to zero.
The number three has been popping up frequently of late. Saturday’s win was the third straight home win for the Rapids. Each of those wins featured the same scoreline of 3-0. The one loss in the last four games featured three goals against. Now the Rapids are three points away from 40 points for the season, the magic number that would likely insure a Rapids trip to the post-season. A trip that would end, at three, their time in the wilderness.
From the starting whistle the Rapids jumped all over the Revolution who never really appeared to have much fight in them.
Omar Cummings opened up the scoring in the fifth minute by running onto a pass from Jamie Smith and one-timing the ball into the far corner.
The goal, Omar’s tenth of the year, set a new personal high for the Jamaican who is riding a wave of confidence. Omar has scored five goals in the last four games and has assisted provided an on three others. His goal last week against the New York RedBulls was voted Goal of the Week. Another solid outing by in the next two games could see him earn MLS’ Player of the Month.
Omar’s goal also made him, briefly, the team’s leader in scoring. That’s a situation that didn’t stand long as Conor Casey also posted his tenth of the season.
Casey’s goal was the culmination of some neat passing and a great run by Casey. Casey laid a ball off to Jamie Smith and turned to head for goal. Smith passed to a wide open Omar Cummings who laid the ball right into the path of Casey. Conor then finished with a low shot that curled around the Matt Reis and past the near post.
Casey’s goal marked his tenth of the season, but it was also his 39th goal for the Rapids, bringing him level with Paul Bravo for the Rapids record regular season record. Casey’s goal scoring pace is the best the Rapids have ever seen over a sustained period having hit for his 39th with 90 games where Bravo had played a total of 135 games. Casey’s tenth goal also makes him the only Rapids player to score in the double digits in three seasons, doing so for the last three years running.
After Casey’s goal the Rapids and New England Revolution were content to see the half play out. The Rapids still pressed forward, but the pace had dropped the pace a bit. Throughout the half New England seldom made it within spitting distance of the Rapids penalty area.
In the second half the Revolution came out with a bit more fire, but the Rapids defense easily handled their forays. The Rapids had a few opportunities that forced Matt Reis to make some great saves, but the team was less sharp than they were in the first. With twenty minutes to go Gary Smith started adding fresh legs to the lineup.
First, Smith brought in for Macoumba Kandji for Brian Mullan, followed by Wells Thompson for Omar Cummings, and Quincy Amarikwa for Conor Casey. The subs provided the Rapids with a bit more energy at the expense of attacking acumen. The energy provided several missed opportunities before Wells Thompson made good with the final goal of the night. Rapids newcomer, Kandji provided the assist putting Wells Thompson in on Matt Reis. Thompson took a touch before shooting past his former Revolution teammate.
The final minutes of the night were spent with Kandji, Kosuke Kimura, and Amarikwa playing a game of keep away in the Revolution’s half.
The game was also the first for Brian Mullans as a Rapids player. Mullan fit right in with his teammates offering much of the same skill, work and smarts that Jamie Smith provided on the left flank.