The dormant attack of the Colorado Rapids woke up Wednesday night in a wild 3-2 away victory over the MetroStars at Giants Stadium. Jordan Cila, making just his second start in MLS, scored his first two professional goals, including the game-winner in the 89th minute as the Rapids scored twice in the final 11 minutes.
The Rapids appeared defeated when the MetroStars went ahead 2-1 on Sergio Galvan Rey's goal in the 53rd minute, but for the first time this season they generated consistent offense to complete their short road trip with all six points and become owners of third place in the Western Conference.
The Rapids capitalized on a MetroStars' turnover in midfield to take a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute. Matt Crawford brought the ball up the left flank and sent a lonely cross into space. Alberto Delgado, signed by the Rapids only hours before kickoff, chased down the loose ball, drew a pair of defenders his way, and laid it off for Cila who quickly unleashed a left-footed shot that beat MetroStars goalkeeper Jonny Walker.
The MetroStars came out of the break in fine form and converted for the lead eight minutes after the restart when Jeff Parke flicked a corner kick from Amado Guevara to a wide open Galvan Rey, who merely had to walk onto the perfectly placed ball to bury his first MLS score.
The Metros nearly added insurance off a 70th-minute corner kick, but Cannon made a remarkable save with his right hand, swatting away a Ricardo Clark chance just as it was about to settle under the cross bar.
Cannon's save paid off when, in the 78th minute, de la Torre lofted a freekick into the area where a header bounced off the shoulder of Eddie Pope and found Nat Borchers open, and he responded by drilling a left-footed shot past Walker to level the match with his first MLS league goal.
The winning goal was the product of poor defending from the home side. The active de la Torre swung in a corner that Borchers headed down, finding Cila at the top of the area with Metro defender Craig Ziadie on his back. But the rookie striker wheeled and swept the ball home around Ziadie and Walker to again give the Rapids the lead.
The three-goal effort was the first this season for the Rapids and Cila became the first Rapids' player this season to score twice in one game.
The Rapids jumped ahead of Dallas and San Jose in the Western Conference ahead of their annual Fourth of July extravaganza Sunday against the New England Revolution (9:30 p.m. ET, HDNET). The MetroStars lost their second in a row and erased a chance to pad their lead atop the Eastern Conference. They travel to face D.C. United (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2) on Saturday afternoon.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Jordan Cila
Colorado Rapids (4-3-6) vs. MetroStars (5-5-4)
June 30, 2004 -- Giants Stadium
COL -- Jordan Cila 1 (Alberto (Perez) Delgado 1, Matt Crawford 3) 13
MET -- Eddie Gaven 3 (Joselito Vaca 1, Sergio Galvan Rey 1) 23
MET -- Sergio Galvan Rey 1 (Jeff Parke 1, Amado Guevara 5) 53
COL -- Nat Borchers 1 (unassisted) 78
COL -- Jordan Cila 2 (Nat Borchers 1, Antonio de la Torre 3) 89
Colorado Rapids -- Joe Cannon, Antonio de la Torre, Nat Borchers, Pablo Mastroeni, Ritchie Kotschau (Gary Sullivan 69), Matt Crawford, Chris Henderson, Kyle Beckerman, Jordan Cila, Joey DiGiamarino (Seth Trembly 46), Alberto (Perez) Delgado.
Substitutes Not Used: Michael Erush, Daryl Powell, Scott Vallow.
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Jordan Cila 4, Chris Henderson 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Jordan Cila 3, Chris Henderson 3); FOULS: 17 (Ritchie Kotschau 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Chris Henderson 1, Alberto (Perez) Delgado 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Antonio de la Torre 5); SAVES: 9 (Joe Cannon 8)
MetroStars -- Jonny Walker, Craig Ziadie, Jeff Parke, Eddie Pope, Chris Leitch, Ricardo Clark, Eddie Gaven (Mike Magee 84), Amado Guevara, Joselito Vaca, Sergio Galvan Rey (John Wolyniec 84), Fabian Taylor (Cornell Glen 61).
Substitutes Not Used: Kenny Arena, Tenywa Bonseu, Pablo Brenes, Tim Regan, Seth Stammler, Zach Wells.
TOTAL SHOTS: 20 (6 tied with 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 11 (5 tied with 2); FOULS: 15 (Eddie Gaven 4); OFFSIDES: 3 (Amado Guevara 2); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Amado Guevara 4); SAVES: 6 (Jonny Walker 5)
MET -- Jeff Parke (caution; Pushing, Holding) 84
COL -- Joe Cannon (caution; Delaying a Restart) 96+
Referee: Ali Saheli
Referee's Assistants: -Jose Andrade; Jorge De la Bandera
4th Official: Steve Karaduzovic
Time of Game: 1:54
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.