Defenders shine for Rapids in victory

The defense of the Colorado Rapids has been stingy all season, but their performance against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday night at Invesco Field at Mile High was perhaps their best of the season.

Coming into Wednesday's game, the Rapids had allowed opponents only five goals in five matches in Denver. Against the Galaxy, despite losing midfielders Pablo Mastroeni and Guy Melamed to red card expulsions and taking only four shots all game, the Rapids were able to limit the Galaxy to only seven shots on goal and escape with a 1-0 victory.

"It was a defensive drill for the last 40 minutes," said Rapids coach Fernado Clavijo. "We worked it well, and you have to give credit to every single one of [our players], we really had to dig in."

Goalkeeper Joe Cannon made seven saves and earned his fifth shutout of the season. He particularly shined on a late flurry of Galaxy shots that seemed certain to lead to a goal.

"It was just a scramble," said Cannon. "I remember Landon Donovan was point blank and I just put out my toe and that's it. Everyone always asks me about my big feet, and that's a prime example of making a save with them right there."

The win was the first for the Rapids in more than a month. Their last victory came at home on May 14 against Chivas USA. With a road game at Chivas USA looming this weekend, the Rapids hope that the momentum from this win can carry them forward.

"Its the type of game and situation that you build on," said center back Mike Petke. "If we take nothing else from it, it's that we came together tonight and got three points and hopefully we can go into Chivas and get another three points."

Geoffrey Urland is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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