COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Unable to break down a pesky D.C. United squad in the final third, the Colorado Rapids were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Sunday night.
Despite generating the overwhelming majority of the chances and dominating possession, Colorado were unable to capitalize against their struggling visitors, with the home side missing a slew of chances to collect their third straight win. Rapids rookie Deshorn Brown was active and created several chances for the home side, but United ‘keeper Joe Willis was up to the task, recording several big stops to give United only their third road point of the season.
The point keeps Colorado a point back of fifth-placed LA in the West, while D.C. avoided a loss for just the sixth time – and collected their 10th point – in 19 matches so far this season.
OPTA Chalkboard: Brown spurs Colorado attack, but unable to beat Willis
Setting the tone for a game played almost entirely in D.C.’s end, the Rapids started on the offensive, with Drew Moor’s ninth-minute shot inside the box barely rising over Willis’ crossbar. Three minutes later, and Willis made a reflex save on Brown to keep the game scoreless, while Brown missed an open opportunity just two minutes later.
The Rapids dominated the opening 45, doing everything besides scoring. Center back Germán Mera’s 33rd minute header off a free kick crashed off the post, and Moor’s follow up sailed over the crossbar, but the hosts couldn’t find the back of the net.
But before the half was over, the visitors nearly went up a goal on the counter on their lone opportunity of note in the match. United defender Ethan White got on the other end of a floating cross, and White’s volley had Colorado ‘keeper Clint Irwin beat, only for Moor to spectacularly clear the ball away from an onrushing Chris Pontius with a last-ditch header, keeping the game level into the half.
On the other side of the break, the Rapids nearly scored through Brown again. Sprinting down the right wing in the 52nd minute, the rookie blasted a shot just outside the box only for Willis to finger-tip the ball away.
Brown’s speed allowed him to blow by two United defenders in the 75th minute, but Willis, a product of the nearby University of Denver, was again on hand to make a split-second save.
CHECK OUT THE FULL LINEUPS AND BOX SCORE
The Rapids threw all bodies forward in the final minutes to try and secure three points. In the 87th minute, substitute Nick LaBrocca’s blast inside the penalty area appeared to be goal-bound, but Willis parried away the shot to maintain the clean sheet. LaBrocca also had a shot just outside the penalty box in the 89th, but Willis again had the answer with a diving save.
A minute later, and substitute Jaime Castrillón’s shot inside the box barely sailed past the post as the Rapids were forced to settle for a frustrating draw.
Colorado stay at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to finish up their three-game homestand on July 17 against New England, while D.C. head home to host Chivas USA on Friday.
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Joe Willis||The D.C. 'keeper was on his game all night, totaling seven impressive and timely sides to hand his side a point|
|2||Deshorn Brown||A handful as ever, sparking nearly all of Colorado's most threatening moves. Will be disappointed in his finishing, though|
|3||Ethan White||Once more showed off his athletic frame and good feet. Defended soundly throughout the 90 minutes and nearly set up a goal, if not for Moor's clearing header|