COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Two goals from new signing Caleb Folan proved the difference Sunday as the Colorado Rapids ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over visiting D.C. United in freezing temperatures at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The former Hull City striker, who only signed for the Rapids two weeks ago, out-jumped the DC defense to expertly head a Sanna Nyassi cross into the right hand corner of the net to effectively seal the win for the undefeated Rapids in the 81st minute.
That goal added to a moment of individual brilliance in the first half when he latched onto a perfectly weighted ball from Jeff Larentowicz in the 38th minute, and feinted past the DC defense before connecting well with a left foot drive past Pat Onstad.
The two Folan goals sandwiched two goals inside of a minute when DC, through a Santino Quaranta first-time volley on the far post, briefly pulled even at 1-1 in the 70th minute. Exactly a minute later, Rapids midfielder Jamie Smith popped up in the box to head home an Anthony Wallace long-range cross to push the Rapids back in front.
Omar Cummings, who was rested for the start of the game and did not come on until an early second-half injury to Conor Casey, finished off a header in injury time off an assist from midfielder Pablo Mastroeni to complete the victory.
The Rapids are now 3-0 to start the defense of their MLS Cup title, and have outscored their opponents 8-2 in the three wins this season.
United drop to 1-2 this season after losing their second straight match, this one without the help of forward Charlie Davies, who skipped the trip with a groin injury.
COL -- Caleb Folan 1 (Jeff Larentowicz 1) 39
DC -- Santino Quaranta 1 (Chris Korb 1) 70
COL -- Jamie Smith 2 (Anthony Wallace 1) 71
COL -- Caleb Folan 2 (Sanna Nyassi 1) 81
COL -- Omar Cummings 2 (Pablo Mastroeni 1, Quincy Amarikwa 1) 92+
COL -- Conor Casey (caution; Reckless Foul) 15
DC -- Dax McCarty (caution; Reckless Foul) 41
DC -- Marc Burch (caution; Reckless Foul) 83
D.C. United -- Pat Onstad, Chris Korb, Daniel Woolard, Rodrigo Brasesco, Marc Burch, Kurt Morsink (Fred 82), Dax McCarty, Santino Quaranta, Branko Boskovic (Andy Najar 54), Blake Brettschneider, Chris Pontius (Josh Wolff 65).
Substitutes Not Used: Stephen King, Joseph Ngwenya, Ethan White, Bill Hamid.
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace, Brian Mullan (Sanna Nyassi 72), Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith, Conor Casey (Omar Cummings 52), Caleb Folan (Quincy Amarikwa 87).
Substitutes Not Used: Joseph Nane, Tyrone Marshall, Scott Palguta, Steward Ceus.
Referee: Elias Bazakos
Referee's Assistants: Craig Lowry; Corey Parker
4th Official: Alex Prus
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Snow and 32 degrees