Oscar Pareja’s message to his team was clear this week: Score goals, or you’ll find yourself on the bench.
Message received, coach.
In the Rapids’ drama-filled 4-3 draw in Montreal on Saturday, Colorado scored a season-high four goals – they hadn’t scored more than two in any game so far this year – while handing the Impact their first home loss of the season.
Forward Tony Cascio provided the dramatic late winner in the 95th minute on his deflected shot that skipped off two Impact defenders and past Troy Perkins to give the visitors all three points. Cascio, who has been banished to the end of the bench for the majority of the season, chose as good a time as any to score his first goal of the season.
“It felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders,” Cascio told MLSsoccer.com by phone after Saturday’s game. “I didn’t expect that ball to come to my feet, but when it did, it kind of fell to my feet, took a touch, and just thought about shooting it and I did.”
On Saturday, finally, the Rapids’ goalscorers, such as Cascio, were, well, scoring goals. Attacking midfielder Dillon Powers scored Colorado’s second of the night in the 59th minute on a no-look finish from the top of the box, substitute striker Deshorn Brown equalized again in the 77th minute and then Cascio capped off the heroics deep into second-half injury time.
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“I thought we had a little bit more calmness in front of the goal,” Pareja said. “We didn’t rush. We were not hectic to finish. Today, we had composure in the last third and that was magnificent for them.”
Most importantly for the Rapids, the win gives Colorado, who carried a three-game losing streak into Stade Saputo, much-needed momentum heading into a three-game homestand starting this week.
“The commitment from the players today was incredible,” Pareja said. “Hopefully this is the spark that we need to get this stretch done and get back home and get points. We can’t wait to be back home.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.