COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Sanna Nyassi enjoyed a breakout game for the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, scoring a hat trick and notching an assist as the defending MLS Cup champions thrashed the visiting New York Red Bulls 4-1.
Nyassi scored his first goal before the crowd had barely settled in their seats, exchanging a one-two with Omar Cummings at the top of the penalty area before placing a right foot shot past Frank Rost in the Red Bulls net.
His second goal was on the half-hour, as he shredded a weak Red Bulls defense and hit a shot high into the net with his left foot. On the hour, he scored his third with a similar run through the heart of the defense, nutmegging Carlos Mendes before sliding the ball under Rost.
Cummings provided the assist on each of Nyassi’s goals, and Nyassi himself assisted on the lone goal he didn’t score. That one belonged to midfielder Wells Thompson, who scored off a rebound of Nyassi’s shot from distance after the ball slammed off the far post in the 26th minute.
Nyassi came off in the 85th minute to a standing ovation after he became the first Rapids player to notch a hat trick since Conor Casey managed the feat on Aug. 8, 2009. Nyassi served as a replacement for Casey on Wednesday after the Rapids’ imposing striker went down with a season-ending injurylast Saturday.
The win was the second in five games for Colorado (7-6-9), while New York (6-5-11) never recovered from the Rapids’ fast start and now have just one win in 12 games on the road this season.
Thierry Henry provided the lone bright spot for the Red Bulls in the 67th minute, when he scored his league-leading 10th goal of the season from just inside the penalty box after a drop pass from Juan Agudelo.
The Rapids return to action against the New England Revolution at home on Saturday, while the Red Bulls host FC Dallas the same night.
COL -- Sanna Nyassi 1 (Omar Cummings 3) 2
COL -- Wells Thompson 2 (Sanna Nyassi 2) 26
COL -- Sanna Nyassi 2 (Omar Cummings 4, Drew Moor 1) 30
COL -- Sanna Nyassi 3 (Omar Cummings 5, Marvell Wynne 2) 61
NY -- Thierry Henry 10 (Juan Agudelo 1) 67
New York Red Bulls -- Frank Rost, Jan Gunnar Solli, Carlos Mendes, Tim Ream, Roy Miller, Dane Richards, Mehdi Ballouchy, Dax McCarty (Chris Albright 71), Joel Lindpere, Juan Agudelo, Thierry Henry.
Substitutes Not Used: Corey Hertzog, Stephen Keel, Tyler Lassiter, John Rooney, Bouna Coundoul.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Juan Agudelo 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Thierry Henry 2); FOULS: 11 (Mehdi Ballouchy 4); OFFSIDES: 4 (Joel Lindpere 3); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Joel Lindpere 3); SAVES: 3 (Frank Rost 3)
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Tyrone Marshall, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Brian Mullan, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni (Joseph Nane 69), Wells Thompson, Omar Cummings (Caleb Folan 73), Sanna Nyassi (Andre Akpan 85).
Substitutes Not Used: Quincy Amarikwa, Ross LaBauex, Scott Palguta, Steward Ceus.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Sanna Nyassi 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Sanna Nyassi 3); FOULS: 10 (Wells Thompson 4); OFFSIDES: 1 (Omar Cummings 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Sanna Nyassi 2); SAVES: 2 (Matt Pickens 2)
COL -- Wells Thompson (caution; Shirt Removal) 26
NY -- Mehdi Ballouchy (caution; Simulation) 27
NY -- Jan Gunnar Solli (caution; Reckless Foul) 35
NY -- Dane Richards (caution; Reckless Foul) 61
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee's Assistants: Daniel Belleau; Eric Proctor
4th Official: David Gantar
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-86-degrees