US Open Cup: No sophomore slump for Deshorn Brown as he keeps up red-hot form vs. Orlando City

Deshorn Brown

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USA Today Sports

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – There’s no two ways about it: Deshorn Brown is on fire right now for the Colorado Rapids.

The second-year striker collected the first hat trick of his career on Tuesday night in a 5-2 win over Orlando City at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, using his electric pace and improved finishing to find the best form of his young Rapids career.

The trio of goals brought Brown’s tally to seven goals in as many games, and the 23-year-old Jamaican international is clearly hitting his stride at just the right time.

“It wasn’t too long ago when [the media] was asking me about what it takes for a guy like this to get some goals,” Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni told reoprters postgame of Brown. “This guy believes that he can score from anywhere.”

Brown started the season mired in a slump, scoring just once (on a penalty rebound) in his first eight games. The Rapids offense was also collectively slumping through much of the season’s early goings, until Brown starting scoring. And scoring.

On May 11th, Brown scored a consolation goal in a 3-1 loss to Chivas USA. No big deal. But a few weeks later, the sixth overall pick of the 2013 SuperDraft had a brace in a 3-0 win over Houston, and then scored again in a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas on June 7 to head into the World Cup break on a high.

And then on Tuesday night, he left off exactly where he did 10 days ago.

The first of Brown’s goals came on a beautiful turnaround volley, equalizing on a 35th-minute highlight-reel goal. Ninety seconds after the start of the second half, Brown made it a brace with a tough-angled finish, and he capped off a fantastic evening with a terrific chip over goalie Miguel Gallardo in the 56th.

Orlando City were clearly no match for the fleet-footed Jamaican, and few MLS teams seem to be these days, either.

And for Brown, his improved finishing is all about improved confidence, something his club is thoroughly enjoying.

“It was a good feeling,” Brown said of the hat trick. “I was overthinking about scoring and chances [a few weeks ago]. [But now] I just try to put [misses] behind me and just focus on what the score is.”

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.