Jordan Cila once again rose up to knock off his hometown team, his second-half goal the difference in the match as the Colorado Rapids won for the second consecutive week -- and sent the Eastern Conference leaders MetroStars to a second shutout loss in a row -- in a 1-0 victory on Saturday night in Denver.
The Long Island native was quickest to the rebound of a powerful Mark Chung blast that Metro 'keeper Jonny Walker couldn't hold on to in the 54th minute for his third goal of the season -- all against the MetroStars. In the other meeting this season between the clubs, Cila scored twice -- including an 89th-minute match-winner -- as Colorado won 3-2 at Giants Stadium.
The Rapids should have scored in the opening minutes, as a great through ball from Cila in the third minute found John Spencer streaking into the box, but his shot caromed off the outside of the post.
The Metrostars then began to gain the momentum with their quick attacks. After Chung fouled Gaven, Amado Guevara's dangerous free kick from just outside the box was headed hard to goal by forward Cornell Glen, but it went right to Cannon.
A great cross from Kyle Beckerman found Matt Crawford wide open on the right in the box in the 20th minute, but Walker made a great kick save. The resulting rebound went to an open Spencer, but his shot was blocked by a quickly converging Tenwya Bonseu.
Glen looked very dangerous in the first half, particularly in the 26th minute, when he made a strong dribbling run through several Rapids defenders before he was finally stymied deep in the box. Then just after, the Metros threatened again when a cross from Bonseu found forward John Wolyniec and his first-time effort looked to beat a diving Cannon, but it went just past the post.
But the Rapids began to gain the initiative and control more of the possession, their fullbacks making several effective runs forward.
Crawford whipped in a quick cross from the right that a diving Chung just missed with a volley in the 32nd minute, the rebound falling to a wide-open Chris Henderson, but a diving Joselito Vaca deflected his shot out. Then in the 35th minute a hard shot from left back Darryl Powell knocked Walker almost over the end line.
Chung then began to exert real influence over the match. In the 36th minute he tried to catch Walker napping and nearly chipped the Metro shot-stopper from behind the midfield stripe, but Walker was able to recover in time and make the save. He then got on the end of a restart before the half and was all alone in the box, but had trouble controlling the ball and put his shot went well over the bar.
After the break the Rapids scored the only goal of the game off a fine sequence. After Chris Henderson headed Crafword's cross back to Chung, his powerful volley was mishandled by Walker. Cila was there to take advantage of the mistake and pound the ball in the net from inside the six.
Trying in vain to break down a packed Rapids defense in the late going, the MetroStars finally found their way through in the 80th minute with the result a great volley from Gaven, but Cannon did well to cut off the angle and make the save.
Colorado substitute Alberto Delgado then had one final chance to put the game away in the 87th minute when he had the ball on a 2-on-1 break, but his centering pass was behind Spencer.
The Rapids' victory added to Cannon's league-leading shutout total, his ninth of the campaign. The shutout extended a club record as well, as it has been more than a month (since July 19 vs. Dallas) that a visiting team has scored on the Rapids at Invesco Field, a run of almost 500 minutes.
The Rapids hit the road next week, traveling to San Jose to face the resurgent Earthquakes on Saturday evening (10 p.m. ET; HDnet). The MetroStars return home, playing host to the Columbus Crew on Sunday evening (6 p.m. ET).
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Mark Chung (Colorado Rapids)
MetroStars (9-8-5) vs. Colorado Rapids (8-7-8)
August 21, 2004 -- Invesco Field at Mile High
COL -- Jordan Cila 3 (unassisted) 54
MetroStars -- Jonny Walker, Tenywa Bonseu, Kenny Arena (Sergio Galvan Rey 77), Jeff Parke, Chris Leitch, Joselito Vaca, Amado Guevara, Ricardo Clark, Eddie Gaven, Cornell Glen (Fabian Taylor 69), John Wolyniec.
Substitutes Not Used: Eddie Pope, Tim Regan, Zach Wells.
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (John Wolyniec 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (John Wolyniec 3); FOULS: 16 (Joselito Vaca 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Eddie Gaven 1, Cornell Glen 1); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Amado Guevara 3, Joselito Vaca 3); SAVES: 5 (Jonny Walker 5)
Colorado Rapids -- Joe Cannon, Antonio de la Torre, Nat Borchers, Ritchie Kotschau, Daryl Powell (Alberto Delgado (Perez) 62) (Seth Trembly 90), Chris Henderson, Kyle Beckerman, Matt Crawford, Mark Chung, Jordan Cila, John Spencer.
Substitutes Not Used: Joey DiGiamarino, Michael Erush, Rey Angel Martinez, Pablo Mastroeni, Jean Philippe Peguero, Gary Sullivan, Scott Vallow.
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Mark Chung 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Mark Chung 3); FOULS: 17 (Nat Borchers 3, Jordan Cila 3); OFFSIDES: 6 (John Spencer 3); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Matt Crawford 1, Antonio de la Torre 1); SAVES: 6 (Joe Cannon 6)
COL -- Matt Crawford (caution; Reckless Foul) 37
MET -- Ricardo Clark (caution; Reckless Foul) 38
MET -- Chris Leitch (caution; Professional Foul) 51
COL -- Jordan Cila (caution; Tackle from Behind) 63
MET -- Tenywa Bonseu (caution; Reckless Foul) 84
COL -- John Spencer (caution; Professional Foul) 86
Referee: Erich Simmons
Referee's Assistants: -Kermit Quisenberry; Steven Davidson
4th Official: Mark Geiger
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-71-degrees
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.