COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids got a big win on Saturday afternoon, defeating Toronto FC 2-0 at home. Thanks to a second minute Jack Price goal and a second half Shkelzen Gashi PK, they got a comfortable three points. Toronto struggled at times as Manager Greg Vanney chose to start a reserve team as the club prepares for the CONCACAF Champions Leauge Final match next Tuesday.
Jack Price Goal Lifts Colorado Rapids Over Toronto FC Reserves
The Rapids got out to one of their best starts in years. Just two minutes into the game, Colorado had a low cross into the box that was cleared right to Jack Price. The midfielder, took a touch to collect then fired a shot just inside the far post past Clint Irwin to open the scoring.
Colorado continued to be positive in the attack, clearly playing more of a 3-5-2 than a 5-3-2. They cleared several quality opportunities throughout the half, with Dominique Badji, Jack McBean, and Edgar Castillo all getting involved. The best other chance came in the 25th minute with Badji sending the ball just over the bar from the top of the box.
Toronto was most effective off the counter. Just minutes after Price’s goal, Tosaint Ricketts had a chance on a header in front of goal but could not get to the ball. In the 36th minute, Ben Spencer had a chance from close range but Tim Howard came off his line and stopped it. Jay Chapman was the most effective chance creator for the Reds, working up his left flank.
The second half was not as well executed as the first by either side. Toronto made two substitutions within the first 15 minutes and had trouble adjusting to get back in the game. Toronto had a dangerous free kick in the 67th minute that Howard punched out.
The match was put on ice in the 77th minute when Badji made a run into the box and was fouled. The forward went down and earned a PK. Substitute Shkelzen Gashi stepped up to take it and sent Irwin the wrong way to score. the match ended 2-0.
Three Things I Noticed:
Kip Colvey struggling: Right wing back Kip Colvey was subbed off in the first half after just 39 minutes of play. He got forward in good positions several times but didn’t do much with it. He did not contribute much on the defensive side of the ball. Ultimately, he became the first ever first half sub of the season for the Rapids, making way for Dillon Serna.
Toronto FC focused on CCL: Toronto Manager Greg Vanney started at most five players who are have been regulars for him in CONCACAF Champions League. The rest of the team was made up of bench and reserve players. Toronto clearly chose to emphasize CCL in resting their stars for this match and it showed. They had a few good moments, but could not crack the Rapids defense.
Healthy bodies back in action: Rapids fans saw two debutants in this match as Gashi and Yannic Boli were subbed on in the second half. Boli didn’t get enough minutes to get noticed, but Gashi had several good runs and got the PK to score his first goal of the year. This is promising going forward for Hudson and company.