COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – This wasn’t the homecoming former Colorado Rapids legend Omar Cummings probably deserved. His former team stomped over Cummings and the Houston Dynamo, making the 31-year-old's return feel more like a murky rest stop than the six-year home of one of the organization’s all-time greats.
By the end of it, however, Cummings could only grin and give credit to the team who traded him more than a year ago.
Sunday evening, Colorado’s youth movement – a movement that started with the trade of Cummings in December of 2012 - took another step forward as 2013 first-round draft picks Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers helped lead the maturating Rapids to a 3-0 win over the Dynamo at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Brown had two goals in the win - one of which that was set up beautifully by Powers, who finished the game with two assists.
Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni said earlier in the week that once Brown put one or two in the back of the net, the striker’s confidence would soar. On Sunday, however, the fiery coach went one step further and said the entire team’s confidence, as well as expectations, should go up after their second consecutive dominating performance.
“Once you go through that ring of fire there is a reward on that other side, and now there is a belief,” said Mastroeni, whose team has scored seven goals in their past two games after scoring just seven in eight games prior to that. “And now it’s, ‘I want to keep doing this because it feels good.’ I think it took a while, but I think of all the games this season tonight was our most complete performance.”
The Jamaican striker, who had two goals in his first 12 games, took a beautiful ball from Marvell Wynne and put the Rapids up 1-0 in the 5th minute, and then doubled the lead a half hour later with a decisive strike on a ball from Powers.
After scoring twice in last week's 4-1 win over Montreal, Powers had another solid performance against Houston. He then credited his coach’s philosophy withing building confidence throughout the roster.
“Pablo’s big thing is there is no right and wrong," said the reigning MLS rookie of the year. "It’s like, if you do it and do it well than it is the right decision on the field. He wants us to go out and play free.”
As for Cummings, all he could do was tip his cap to the Rapids and their inexperienced, yet talented roster.
“They played very well,” said Cummings. “I wanted a different result, but it didn’t happen. They played well.”