The road has rarely been sweet to the Colorado Rapids.
A year after a 3-13-1 road record kept them from making the postseason for the first time in three years, Colorado got off to a similarly bleak start away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park this year, managing just a single point in their first three road games of the season.
But that changed on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center with a 1-0 win over Chivas USA, Colorado's first road win of 2013.
“It’s very important to us,” midfielder Anthony Wallace said on Saturday. “We are looking to build on that. It gives us momentum going in the future. Coming in here, where Chivas has had a great start to the season and to get a win, or at least a tie, would have been great. But to get a win, that’s great for us.”
Holding one of MLS’ greatest home advantages at the mile-high altitude of suburban Denver, home is often kind to the Rapids, who often take advantage of worn out opponents in the second half. But even in their MLS Cup-winning season back in 2010, they only posted a 4-6-5 away mark, and they’ve struggled each season since.
So while Saturday’s win is just one of 17 road matches for the Rapids this season, for head coach Oscar Pareja, the victory seemed to hold extra meaning. Immediately after the final whistle, Pareja gleefully hugged his top assistant, Wilmer Cabrera.
“I would like to give credit to my staff, the players and assistant coaches,” Pareja said on Saturday. “They did a great job this week preparing the team and helping me make good decisions. The players did a great job today.”
Ultimately, the Rapids hope Saturday’s win is the start of a necessary turnaround away from home.
“It’s a fantastic result,” defender Drew Moor told MLSsoccer.com by phone postgame. “They’re a tough team to play against, especially here, and we did a fantastic job getting the three points.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.