COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids may not have been convincing winners over the bottom-of-the-table Vancouver Whitecaps, but they were winners and that is key.
Goals from Conor Casey and Scott Palguta were enough to see off the Whitecaps, 2-1 on Saturday, and earn the Rapids their first win at home since April 3.
WATCH HIGHLIGHTS: Colorado 2, Vancouver 1
“More than anything, it’s good just to get the W,” Casey said after the match. “It’s been a long week and this is a good way to wrap it up.”
This week, Colorado have played three games in six days, amassing five points. They drew against both Houston and Sporting Kansas City. The three-game unbeaten stretch has restored some confidence to the team.
“The guys are feeling decent about themselves and we can say it has been a good week other than not bagging the goal against Houston,” coach Gary Smith said.
In a bid to take the game to the struggling visitors, Smith sent out an attacking formation that featured Casey, Omar Cummings and Caleb Folan. The three rotated their positioning on the field for much of the game before Folan came out in the 65th minute.
Both Casey and Cummings said after the game that they had enjoyed the experiment. Smith said it was all about imposing his side’s will on Vancouver.
“We needed to dictate the game and I felt this allowed the guys to be a little freer in their expression,” he said. “To a degree, it worked.”
Smith paid particular praise to Casey, who wore the armband in place of the suspended Pablo Mastroeni. Casey has now scored six goals in his last seven appearances.
“He’s on one of those runs when he looks like he’s going to score,” Smith said. “Mostly, that boils down to confidence. Hitting the back of the net breeds confidence and he’s in an extremely good vein of form. But it was more than just his goal tonight. He played like a captain tonight.”
Regardless of Casey’s form, though, the team itself seems to still be locating its rhythm. Against Vancouver, there were still missing moments from their play, a strayed final touch here, a poor cross there.
“We are still trying to find the way we want to play,” defender Kosuke Kimura told MLSsoccer.com. “We have so many good players, but we still need to attack more. It’s getting there. I think we can pull it off. We just need a little more push from everybody. I think we can be unstoppable then.”