Pablo Mastroeni told him that he only needed one goal to regain his confidence. And Colorado Rapids striker Deshorn Brown agrees with his head coach.
A 10-goal scorer a year ago, Brown only had two MLS goals heading into Sunday’s 3-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The beginning of the season was a struggle in front of goal for the runner-up for last year’s MLS Rookie of the Year award, but the last few weeks saw Brown clang posts and nearly score several times, with little to show for a series of oh-so-close efforts.
But finally – and suddenly – it all came alive for the 23-year-old Jamaican international on Sunday night.
In the fifth minute, Brown found plenty of space to get on the end of Marvell Wynne’s terrific cross for the Rapids’ opener and his second goal of the season. Half an hour later, Brown slotted home perfectly again to double Colorado’s lead after Dillon Powers’ through ball found the sixth overall pick of last year’s SuperDraft.
“All the little things Deshorn has been doing leading into this game has now put him in a position to score those goals,” Mastroeni said after Sunday’s win. “I couldn’t be happier for him and the type of work that he did when he wasn’t scoring those goals.”
Two goals in one half were exactly what the doctor ordered (and they earned Brown MLS Player of the Week honors), although they came at perhaps a surprising time. Just days removed from playing for Jamaica in a 2-1 friendly loss to Serbia in at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, Brown jetted back across the country in order to reinforce Colorado's shorthanded front line. But he credited his experience with the Reggae Boyz as a big positive in helping make Sunday’s outburst a reality.
“I went there and saw a lot of stuff that motivated me to come back here and work harder. It’s a good thing for me,” Brown said after Sunday’s win. “I just have to go there and do the best that I can and come back here and do the best that I can as well. Every time I go, I just come back with a different motivation and try to do my best all the time.”
- Find more Rapids coverage at ColoradoRapids.com
Brown hopes Sunday was just the first step in helping him return to last year’s form, and he hopes to take another step in Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Fire at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (9 pm ET, MLS LIVE). His coach's belief will be kept freshly in mind.
“[Mastroeni] is 100-percent right. I take that from him as a veteran player. I learn a lot of stuff from him, I always listen to him,” Brown said. “So I just listened to that, and I looked back on the [previous] game [against Montreal], looked at the mistakes I made and corrected myself in this game.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.