DENVER, CO – The Colorado Rapids (17 – 7 – 10 61 points) went on a scoring spree against LAFC (12 – 13 – 9 45 Points) with a 5-2 win to gab the top slot in the MLS Western Conference standings on decision day. The explosive crowd at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park were ecstatic as their home team moves from second position to win the West and earn a first round bye in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs. First place also garners them a A 2022 Concacaf Champions League spot.
“I don’t recall the last time when it was, what year it was when we won the West” said 20-year-old Rapids homegrown Cole Basset. but for me growing up, since I’ve been able to physically watch and understand soccer, it hasn’t happened.”
“So being a hometown kid,” continued Bassett, “and helping this team get first place throughout a long season, it’s not easy to do but we’re super happy to get it. “
The Rapids appeared to be unstoppable, almost scoring at will.
In the 18th minute, Kellyn Acosta fired a cross into the box throw the left corner as Jonathan Lewis ran into the box, knocking the ball past LA goalkeeper Jamal Blackman.
Things knocked back and forth in the first half, LA decided to insert MLS superstar Carlos Vela in the 31st minute.
Too after, the Rapids scored when Collen Warner sent in a ball that came through to the wide right from a corner attempt. Warner sent a roller through the scrum that rolled into the goal for a 2-0 Colorado lead.
Then in the 53rd minute, Diego Rubio stole the ball from an LAFC defender in the left corner, drove the ball into the box, and found Jonathan lewis in the are who sent it into the LA left corner for a 3-0 lead.
LAFC refused to quit, however. Two minutes after the second Lewis goal, LAFC got one back.
Raheem Edwards battled with the Rapids back line to get a ball to Brian Rodriquez. Rodriguez passed it over to Cristian Arango who put it in the net for their first of the night.
Colorado scored again in the 63rd minute when substitute Cole Bassett shot a blast from just outside of the area for a goal, taking the score to 4-1.
LA pushed back again with a goal by Rodriguez, assisted by Vela, making the tally 4-1.
This was a special night, however. It was decision day, packed house, and the Rapids were a power in the western conference this year.
In the 79th minute, Dominique Badge set the final nail in the coffin with a goal, taking us to the final score.
Surprisingly, LACF had more possession time that Colorado, handling the ball 61% of the time over 39% for the Rapids
Colorado had 9 shots on goal as opposed to LA’s 4, and the Rapids had 24 clearances compared to only 7 for LA, meaning the Rapids could handle the LA offense, though more LA possession time, less LA quality shots.
Colorado seemed to be setting up lobbed passes into the LA defense all night.
Colorado hadn’t held second place in the league since 2016, when Tim Howard and Jermaine Jones led the team to a Supporters Shield season.
Now they’re in first place, and looking strong going into the playoffs.