Colorado Rapids

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Video: Watts gifts D.C. United own goal for the ages

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Not many things have gone right for either side involved in 2017, but D.C. United was the recipient of a gift early on against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.

[ MORE: Piatti brace lifts Impact to fourth win in a row; Orlando, Crew draw ]

In the 27th minute, Rapids center back Jared Watts received the ball at the back, before making a routine back pass to USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard

Or at least, it should have been a routine back pass.

Instead, Watts’ pass was well off target and too strong for Howard to reach and landed in the back of the Rapids goal. 1-0 in favor of D.C.

Reminder: Both these teams sit at the bottom of their respective conferences on points.

Colorado Rapids fire head coach Pablo Mastroeni

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
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One of the faces of the Colorado Rapids is no longer with the team after nearly a decade and a half with the club.

The Rapids have fired head coach Pablo Mastroeni after three and a half seasons on the job. Colorado has the third fewest points in Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: Swans agree Sigurdsson fee ]

Mastroeni won the 2010 MLS Cup as a player with the Rapids, part of an 11-year run with the club.

The 65-times capped USMNT player finished his time in Colorado with a poor mark in three of four seasons, though the Rapids allowed the fewest goals in MLS last season.

Ex-Sheffield Wednesday youth team coach Steve Cook will take over as interim coach.

MLS Snapshot: Whitecaps blow lead, come back to draw Rapids

Photo credit: @WhitecapsFC
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Vancouver Whitecaps and San Jose Earthquakes (and perhaps the LA Galaxy, should Jonathan Dos Santos turn out to be Midfield Superman) seem destined to duke it out for the sixth and final playoff place in the Western Conference this season, and the Whitecaps’ bid took a significant, unexpected hit Saturday night, as Carl Robinson’s side threw away an early lead before coming back from a goal down to draw the last-place Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Everything was going according to plan after Tony Tchani fired the visitors ahead in the 5th minute, but Axel Sjoberg and Kevin Doyle bagged goals either side of halftime to put Colorado 2-1 ahead. As woeful teams are known to do, though, the Rapids capitulated defensively with fewer than 15 minutes to go. Two points, down the toilet, for each side. The point pulls Vancouver ahead of the Portland Timbers for fifth in the West, expected to fall back to fifth, though, assuming San Jose close out Columbus Crew SC in Saturday’s nightcap.

[ MORE: Sunday’s MLS schedule is chock-full of important matchups ]

Three Four moments that mattered

5′ — Tchani slides the ball through traffic for 1-0 — Pick your spot and pass the ball to it — that’s exactly what Tchani did for the opener, even if he needed a bit of good fortune to avoid a sea of bodies.

15′ — Sjoberg, the poacher, poaches — Just a guess: Sjoberg is the tallest player in soccer history to be referred to as a “poacher,” even if only for a brief moment.

54′ — Doyle slots it past Ousted for 2-1 — Doyle gets the goal, but here’s giving Marlon Hairston the credit he deserves for the quick-thinking backheel inside the box. Champagne football (by Rapids standards, at least).

76′ — Montero is forgotten, heads home to equalize — Someone Everyone forgot to mark Montero on this Cristian Techera free kick, and that’s how you blow a late lead, and that’s how you end up at the bottom of the league table.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match:

Goalscorers: Tchani (5′), Sjoberg (15′), Doyle (54′), Montero (76′)

VIDEO: Chivas’ Dominguez fires laser volley, Rapids’ Ford equalizes in stoppage

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A roster of Major League Soccer’s Homegrown Players assembled on the eve of Wednesday’s All Star Game in Chicago to tangle with Chivas Guadalajara’s U-20 team.

It was a fun-enough watch, especially when Colorado Rapids defender (and Mother’s Day tear-jerker) Kortne Ford rose high to pop a long ball over the Chivas keeper.

The Homegrowns took a first minute lead via Chicago 18-year-old Djordje Mihailovic, who signed with the Fire this offseason and has made seven appearances for the club.

[ MORE: MLS All Star Game preview ]

Despite New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Evan Louro’s best efforts, Chivas leveled things before halftime and Ruben Dominguez gave the Mexican side a lead with an unmistakable and mostly unstoppable goal.

Laser.

MLS: FCD hitting their stride; Dempsey scores twice in SEA win

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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FC Dallas 4-2 D.C. United

The game in 100 words (or less): We’re only just beginning to see anything resembling the very best FC Dallas have to offer, now that Mauro Diaz, the magical unicorn no. 10, is back. The Argentine playmaker returned to the starting lineup a week and a half ago, and Oscar Pareja’s side have two wins and a draw (combined score of 8-4) to show for their efforts. Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over D.C. United had Diaz’s fingerprints all over the film, as he tallied an assist for the third straight game and masterfully dictated tempo for an FCD side so happy to have its midfield metronome back in tow. Roland Lamah has been the biggest beneficiary of Diaz’s presence, scoring twice more on Tuesday to take his season tally to eight goals, including seven in his last five games (four while playing with Diaz). The victory pushes FCD level on points (31) with Sporting Kansas City atop the Western Conference, and ahead on goal differential. Ian Harkes and Deshorn Brown scored DCU’s goals on the night, the first for each player this season.

[ MORE: Dwyer, Acosta power USMNT to win over Ghana | Three things ]

Three Four moments that mattered

41′ — Harris rises above, heads home for 1-1 — Victor Ulloa’s corner kick found Harris atop the six-yard box, and it was all pretty straightforward from there.

45+3′ — Lamah pounces on a loose ball, 2-1 — Failing to clear the ball from inside your own penalty area, on multiple occasions, will cost you every single time.

47′ — Urruti forces Worra into a blunder, and it’s 3-1 — Travis Worra should do something — anything — else here.

55′ — Lamah bundles home from close range for 4-1 — Diaz started the entire move (shocker, right?), Michael Barrios picked out Lamah inside the box, and it would have been tough to miss from there.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Roland Lamah

Goalscorers: Harkes (30′), Harris (41′), Lamah (45+3′, 55′), Urruti (47′), Brown (57′)


Colorado Rapids 1-3 Seattle Sounders

The game in 100 words (or less): The key to winning in Colorado, or against any other side that sits ultra-deep defensively, is to score early and force them out of their defensive shell, wait for the spaces to open up when they creep forward in search of the equalizer, and strike on the break. Seattle executed that particular game plan with aplomb on Tuesday, thanks to Clint Dempsey‘s 6th-minute opener, Will Bruin’s 30th-minute tally to make it 2-0, and the icing on the cake from Dempsey in the 85th minute — the latter two of which capped off quick counter-attacking moves. The victory pushes Seattle past Vancouver Whitecaps and LA Galaxy as the defending champions move into the sixth and final playoff place in the Western Conference (for the time being).

[ MORE: Dwyer, Acosta power USMNT to win over Ghana | Three things ]

Three Four moments that mattered

6′ — Dempsey finds some space, makes it 1-0 — The invisible forcefield around Dempsey not only prevented anyone from closing to within five yards of him, but seemed to actively push everyone wearing a burgundy shirt farther and farther away.

30′ — Bruin pounces on a mistake for 2-0 — Route 1 soccer is rarely pretty, but it’s often effective — especially when the would-be clearances are this poor.

78′ — Badji pokes home Hairston’s cross for 2-1 — Marlon Hairston delivered the inch-perfect ball for Badji, and there was no missing from there.

85′ — Dempsey beats Howard in spectacular fashion for 3-1 — Tim Howard will be having a word with Dempsey post-game after beating hit this first-time, left-footed lob to ice the game.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Clint Dempsey

Goalscorers: Dempsey (6′, 85′), Bruin (30′), Badji (78′)