COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Jamie Smith said after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Houston that the opening half an hour of the game was the best the Colorado Rapids had played all season.
The modest Scottish midfielder could have added it was also one his most impressive individual displays in a Rapids shirt since joining the team halfway through last season.
Not only did the 29-year-old score his first-ever goal for the Rapids [WATCH], he was also roundly cheered by the Colorado faithful for a number of special skills he performed during the game, including at least two nutmegs on Houston players.
[inline_node:317155]Smith’s chances in the team have at times been limited by both injury and increased competition. Last year he played just four games before a season-ending injury. This season, he has featured in 13 of the Rapids' 21 league games, starting in eight of them.
On Saturday he completed a relatively rare 90 minutes and was delighted to have done so with the team securing all three points after the 23 minute scoring blitz at the start of the game.
WATCH: HIGHLIGHTS: COL 3, HOU 0
Smith scored in the second minute to give the Rapids a dream start. Picking up a perfect through ball from Conor Casey, Smith advanced on the Houston goal and opted to go alone even as Omar Cummings was streaking through to his right.
“The pass from Conor was that good that my first thought was to make a good touch and just go for goal,” he said. “The real pleasure was at the end of 90 minutes when the game was over.”
There is undoubtedly greater depth in the Colorado midfield this season. Smith, Wells Thompson and Colin Clark effectively compete for two of the three wide positions, though that has even been further limited by the option of playing Cummings out wide.
Clark’s ligament injury has put paid to his chances this season, creating more opportunities for Smith and Thompson. But there is also the option of playing Claudio Lopez or Mehdi Ballouchy in a midfield role with Cummings moving wide.
“We have such a great squad — there is real strength and depth in the squad,” he said. “If you asked every player in the team, they are all ready to play in the game even if they are not starting. Everyone’s a professional here.”
The Rapids entertain Chivas on Saturday, Sept. 4, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park with kick-off scheduled for 9 pm ET.