COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – First-half goals from Jaime Castrillón and Conor Casey helped the Colorado Rapids snap a two-game losing streak and kept the Portland Timbers winless away from home in a comfortable 3-0 victory for the home team on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Following a crushing 2-1 loss to San Jose their last time out, the 7-8-1 Rapids came out dominating and used two crosses from the right side to notch the two first-half goals they would need to claim the victory.
Rapids veteran Jamie Smith, playing his first minutes of the 2012 season after tearing his ACL last fall, brought the crowd to its feet one more time with a 90th-minute insurance tap-in.
The listless 4-7-4 Timbers, meanwhile, will lament a poor first half where they struggled mightily to hold possession and looked spent following last Sunday’s 2-1 thrilling win over rival Seattle. Portland fell to 0-5-2 outside of JELD-WEN Field, making them just one of two teams, along with FC Dallas, to not have a win away from home so far this season.
The Rapids came out fast and furious from the opening kick. After several early chances, they struck in the 17th minute. Right back Hunter Freeman pushed up the flank, used a neat crossover move to gain space and found an open Castrillón in the center of the penalty box for a crisp redirect tap-in for a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, Brian Mullan’s pinpoint service found Casey sandwiched between two Timbers defenders, and Colorado’s star striker found just enough room to head top shelf for his first goal of the season and a 2-0 Rapids advantage.
In the second half, Colorado kept pushing the tempo on the listless Timbers. They added a third and final tally in the last minute of the match following substitute Tony Cascio’s run and center for Smith, who easily tapped in for the capper.
The Timbers never seriously Matt Pickens’ goal throughout the match, even less so in a stale second-half performance from the visitors.
Portland now head home for a quick turnaround before hosting San Jose on July 3, while the Rapids welcome in the Vancouver Whitecaps for a Fourth of July showdown on Wednesday night.
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Conor Casey||The big fella is back. Bruised his way all over hapless Timbers backline, including a beauty of a finish.|
|2||Jaime Castrillón||Colombian newcomer's best full performance. A terror on offense, excellent on both sides of the ball.|
|3||Brian Mullan||Veteran did what he's done his whole career — perfect two-way threat, with an assist and allowing nothing past him on right wing.|