Fourth of July equals wins for Rapids

A Colorado Rapids win on the Fourth of July has become an Independence Day tradition in Denver. In 10 attempts, the Rapids have come away with nine wins.

On Monday night, their come-from-behind 2-1 victory against the Kansas City Wizards reflected a more recent Rapids trend: winning despite being at a man disadvantage.

"We've been in this situation before," said center back Nat Borchers. "Being one man down, even being two men down in games. I wish we wouldn't get in these situations, but everyone was able to play well and hold on for a victory."

Fellow central defender Mike Petke agreed, saying: "It was an unbelieveable battle. We have a bunch of guys who just won't accept defeat. The last three games have taken two years off my playing career."

Both Rapids goals came off of set pieces. The first was headed in by Alain Nkong from an Eric Denton corner while Terry Cooke scored the winner on a well placed free kick.

"We worked a lot this week on [set pieces] in practices," said Borchers. "Eric Denton did just a fabulous job whipping those balls in."

Despite being comfortably ahead of Real Salt Lake in the standings with a four-point lead in the battle for fourth place in the Western Conference and the final playoff spot, the Rapids know that they still have much work left to do.

"We're underachievers," said Petke. "We have to find a way to take our potential and put it on the field. This team is struggling and not playing good soccer, but we have talented players. We have to find a way to take out talent and put it on the field."

Geoffrey Urland is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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