HOUSTON—It might sound simple and basic, but Colorado Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said Saturday’s 3-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo, which clinched Colorado a spot in the Western Conference Semifinal, was a result of great teamwork.
"Every game teaches you a lesson. Every game has something to reflect on,” Mastroeni said. “And tonight it was about winning your individual battles, staying tough, waiting for the moments to shine. But most importantly, tonight was about team.”
The Rapids won despite conceding possession, 41.4 percent to Houston’s 58.6, and recording fewer passes both in the attacking half and final third. They trail FC Dallas by two points in the Supporters’ Shield race, with a game in hand.
“A lot of times you want to impose yourself on the game and in a lot of moments we did that,” said Mastroeni. “But there’s other times where you got to see what the game gives you and make the best decisions.”
The decisions made by the Rapids players tonight proved to be the right ones. The Rapids turned two Dynamo turnovers into goals, with Mastroeni noting that the effort his players gave on the field put them in the position to win the game.
“Guys have stepped up when the other guys haven’t been here.” Mastroeni said. “What that does, is it builds an incredible amount of camaraderie in the locker room. Because everyone is rooting for each other, cause everyone knows once someone is out, they’ll step in. If we relied on two or three players, we’d be dead in the water.”
Two players that the Rapids relied on in Saturday’s game were Dominique Badji, whose two goals were each set up by Dillon Powers assists. The Rapids have had 13 different players notch a goal this season; 15 players have at least one assist.
“Time and time again with this group of guys, is that when someone steps in there, they do a fantastic job.,” Mastroeni said. “They’re great teammates and they do whatever it takes to get a result.”