John A. Babiak – @Photog_JohnB
Bassett continues to impress, while the entire team steps up to keep the clean sheet.
Due to injuries to Diego Rubio and Younes Namli, Braian Galvan got his first start up front with Andre Shinyashiki. On the backline, Auston Trusty partnered with Lalas Abubakar in central defense against an up-and-down San Jose Earthquakes side.
In the 9th minute, Colorado’s Jack Price lofted in a cross from the left side to the far post. Shinyashiki got a strong header to the right upper 90 but it was parried away. Abubakar got a second look before the ball was cleared but sailed his header over. Both showed that the Rapids clearly still have aerial threats despite losing Kei Kamara.
Another long-range Price freekick was sent towards the back left post in the 20th minute, where Shinyashiki rose to strike it well, but right to the SJ keeper. After 30 minutes, the match was settling into a real back-and-forth mover, with San Jose pressing with numbers in attack, but Colorado recovering well and finding space back the other way easily.
Price and Sam Vines did well to possess and play the short passing game deep on the left sideline for Colorado. Kellyn Acosta thought he had the lead with his low blast, but after video review it was ruled that Price was offside before the shot. That disappointment didn’t last long, though, as yet another of his deadly freekick deliveries in the 35th minute found Cole Bassett at the backside unmarked for the header and 1-0 lead.
After seeing one-goal leads evaporate in the past, Colorado broke that string early in the second half with some quick passing started by Price in the middle to Acosta to make a nice turn central drawing defenders, before slipping to Jonathan Lewis cutting left towards the penalty area. The finish was ever so cool by Lewis and the Rapids doubled their lead.
The Rapids began substituting early, one assumes due to the condensed schedule, bringing on Nicolas Mezquida and Jeremy Kelly for Acosta and Keegan Rosenberry. In the 68th, Nicolas Benezet and Drew Moor came in for some solid minutes and fresh legs to keep SJ at bay.
The Rapids seemed to be having fun at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park as the night went on and sealed the door shut after putting pressure on San Jose’s backline yet again in the 70th minute. Shinyashiki ran along the endline hammered a ball into the 6-yard box where the defender helplessly knocked it into his own goal and increased Colorado lead to 3-0.
Prior to the 79th minute, Auston Trusty made a nice shake on SJ’s defender to free himself along the right sideline. He easily carried into the SJ area, then pushed a perfect setup to an unmarked Mezquida to finish to the far post and four goals to the good for Colorado.
The hits kept coming in the 84th minute as Colorado again just outhustled a dejected SJ side. Bassett got onto a feed by Abubakar in the middle with Shinyashiki running alongside him. Bassett carried, drew the defender, then dropped for Andre to slot it far post for an eye-popping 5-0 win.