By DAN KARELL
The Colorado Rapids had never earned even a point against Toronto FC at BMO Field in club history. That is, until Saturday afternoon.
For the second consecutive week, the Rapids beat not only the odds but their Canadian opposition to send a message to Major League Soccer teams. Visiting Toronto for the only time this season, the Rapids took home a 1-0 win against a very shorthanded TFC thanks to Edson Buddle’s 99th career MLS goal.
Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe, Alvaro Rey, Jonathan Osorio, and Doneil Henry were all listed as inactive for TFC for the match.
Without their stars, Toronto FC turned to a central midfield of Kyle Bekker and Jeremy Hall, but they were dominated in the middle by the Rapids trio of Nick LaBrocca, Jose Mari, and Dillon Powers.
After some sloppy play in the opening 20 minutes, the Rapids began to work their way into the game with patient possession of the ball, forcing TFC to move to the long ball or take advantage of set piece opportunities.
Both teams had chances in the first half and into the second half but neither could break the deadlock until the 77th minute. Rapids substitute Dillon Serna sent a volleyed cross across the face of goal, and fellow substitute Deshorn Brown just was quick enough to get his head to it. Brown’s slight touch found its way to Dillon Powers via Serna, and though Powers’ last touch was heavy, he had the sense to cut the ball back into the center of the box.
Buddle was in the right place and finished low and hard at the near post under TFC goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
TFC had two very close chances to first take the lead and then tie the scoreline. Just prior to the Rapids goal, Bekker took a free kick to the right of the box and saw it clang off the near post and away for a throw in. In stoppage time, Bekker too a beautifully taken free kick that hit the top-left corner where the crossbar and post meet, denying the second-year midfielder of the game-tying goal.
The win was the Rapids’ second week in a row on the road in Canada. Last Saturday, the Rapids defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1.
Here are the match highlights: