Commerce City, CO, United States (4E Sports) – Deshorn Brown and Edson Buddle provided the goals while Clint Irwin collected three highlight-reel saves to lead the Colorado Rapids to a 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The Rapids nearly took the lead in just the fourth minute, but Hendry Thomas’ header from the center of the box was too high.
Then Gabriel Torres, the Rapids’ first Designated Player in franchise history, saw his 19th minute attempt to score in his debut sail over the crossbar.
The Whitecaps nearly took the lead against the run of play in the 26th minute, but Irwin cut off Russell Teibert’s angle in a close range shot and made a save in the box.
But the Whitecaps’ best scoring chance of the night came in the 34th minute when Russell Teibert delivered a pass to Kenny Miller, who tried to angle it back across the goal so Camilo Sanvezzo could tap it in, but Irwin brilliantly stuck out a leg to deny the goal.
Also making his first Rapids start, Vicente Sanchez delivered a perfect cross from the right wing, and using his speed to create space, star rookie Deshorn Brown finished with a header in front of goal at the far left post to give the Rapids the 1-0 lead in the 36th minute.
Torres had another clear chance to earn a goal but David Ousted was able to charge out of his net to deny the Panamanian from scoring in his debut.
The Whitecaps came close to equalizing in the 67th minute, when substitute Darren Mattocks blazed past Marvell Wynne, but Irwin came up large again with a diving stop to palm away the Jamaican’s open effort.
The Rapids put the game to bed in the 80th minute when substitute Nick LaBrocca’s through ball found Edson Buddle open on the right side of the box, and his ensuing shot deflected off ‘Caps defender Johnny Leveron and past Ousted to ensure a key three points.
The win was the Rapids ninth straight for three critical points over the Whitecaps, who lost for the third time in their last five matches.