Just like the snowflakes falling on Invesco Field on Saturday night, so came the goals from Amado Guevara -- steady and frequent. His hat trick led the MetroStars to their first victory of the season, a 3-1 triumph against the Colorado Rapids.
The Metrostars midfielder, who after his MVP season last year has faced some criticism for his play so far this season, scored on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute and on two powerful blasts in the 26th and 74th minutes for his first career MLS hat trick. The Rapids goal came from Jeff Cunningham in the 90th minute.
There were early signs of the impending rout in the opening stages of the first half, where Metrostars attackers were wide open around the box as the Rapids defense appeared to be uncharacteristically unorganized.
It finally came back to haunt the home side in the 23rd minute as a pinpoint Eddie Gaven pass went straight to an unmarked Mike Magee. As Joe Cannon charged out of his box, he clipped Magee's foot, and was called for a penalty kick by referee Ricardo Salazar. Cannon guessed correctly on Guevara's shot, but the ball went just beyond his outstretched hands and into the net.
Nat Borchers nearly evened the scoreline in the 24th minute after receiving the ball at the far post on a corner kick, but MetroStars 'keeper Zach Wells cut off the angle well and made a great save.
The second goal came in the 26th minute and was also a result of great MetroStars passing and poor marking by the Rapids. Gaven, ranging freely down the right wing for much of the first half, put a dangerous cross to the goal box that was mis-hit by Galvan Rey and bounded out past Cannon directly to Guevara. His hard shot gave Cannon no chance and gave the Honduran international his first-ever multi-goal game in MLS.
The Rapids seemed to have pulled a goal back before the end of the half. After some contact in the box, Zach Wells crashed to the ground, misplaying Eric Denton's cross straight to Mark Chung, whose flick found the back of the net. Although it seemed unclear whether Wells was hit by a teammate or by a Rapids attacker, referee Salazar ruled a foul had been committed, negating Chung's goal.
The Rapids came out attacking early in the second half, but mostly relied on attacks down the flank and long balls over the top. One such long ball found Luchi Gonzalez in the box, but his diving shot was well saved by Wells.
Gaven nearly put the game to rest in the 68th minute, receiving a pass from Mark Lisi all alone at the top of the box, but his shot caromed off the near post.
After more attacking play from the Rapids came to naught, Guevara completed his hat trick in the 74th minute with a blistering 25-yard angled drive that beat Cannon inside his upper left corner of the goal. The ball was played back to him by substitute Abbe Ibrahim after a Metros corner kick.
The Rapids salvaged some pride in the 90th minute as two successive back heels led to an Alain Nkong shot that rebounded directly to Cunningham in the box. Cunningham wasted no time with his shot, powering it past a rooted Wells.
It was the first time in 25 league match the Rapids allowed two or more goals, while Guevara's hat trick was the first for the MetroStars since a four-goal night from Mamadou Diallo in June 2002.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Amado Guevara (MetroStars).
Geoffrey Urland is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
MetroStars (0-1-2) vs. Colorado Rapids (1-2-1)
April 30, 2005 -- Invesco Field at Mile High
MET -- Amado Guevara 1 (penalty kick) 23
MET -- Amado Guevara 2 (Eddie Gaven 1) 26
MET -- Amado Guevara 3 (Abbe Ibrahim 1) 73
COL -- Jeff Cunningham 2 (Alain Nkong 2) 90
MetroStars -- Zach Wells, Carlos Mendes, Tim Regan, Chris Leitch, Michael Bradley, Amado Guevara, Mark Lisi, Tim Ward, Sergio Galvan Rey, Eddie Gaven (Abbe Ibrahim 73), Mike Magee.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Corcoran, Gilberto Flores, Seth Stammler, Michael Ueltschey.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Amado Guevara 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Amado Guevara 4); FOULS: 12 (Carlos Mendes 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (Sergio Galvan Rey 2); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Amado Guevara 5); SAVES: 5 (Zach Wells 4)
Colorado Rapids -- Joe Cannon, Hunter Freeman, Nat Borchers, Ritchie Kotschau, Eric Denton (Leo Cullen 73), Terry Cooke, Mark Chung (Jean Philippe Peguero 46), Pablo Mastroeni, Alain Nkong, Chris Henderson (Jeff Cunningham 60), Luchi Gonzalez.
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Beckerman, Michael Cardenas, Dan Gargan, Wolde Harris, Amir Lowery, Guy Melamed.
TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Nat Borchers 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Luchi Gonzalez 2); FOULS: 13 (Alain Nkong 5); OFFSIDES: 3 (Luchi Gonzalez 3); CORNER KICKS: 8 (Mark Chung 4, Terry Cooke 4); SAVES: 1 (Joe Cannon 1)
COL -- Joe Cannon (caution; Reckless Foul) 22
MET -- Mark Lisi (caution; Professional Foul) 40
COL -- Eric Denton (caution; Reckless Foul) 69
COL -- Alain Nkong (caution; Persistent Infringement) 84
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee's Assistants: David Bragg; Carey E. Rockwell
4th Official: Scott McCaslin
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial