CARSON, Calif. -- Twenty-two seconds is all it took rookie Kristopher Tyrpak to score after taking the pitch as a substitute Saturday night, but even that seemed like an inflated number.
With only six previous MLS appearances to his name, Tyrpak jogged into play in the 64th minute, immediately gathered a loose ball off a Matthew Dunn header, spun and sped past two defenders. He maneuvered around two more and, finally, sent a left-footed shot past Clint Irwin to the bottom left corner.
He capped the dizzying sequence by racing off to celebrate with his Chivas USA teammates.
It was the equalizer they needed and the spark head coach Wilmer Cabrera credited for their 2-1, come-from-behind victory against the Colorado Rapids at StubHub Center.
Tyrpak manufactured a joyous moment near the end of what has been a forgettable season for the Goats, and he was rewarded with a game ball that was signed by his teammates.
“Man, I was just caught up in the moment and trying to find some space,” Tyrpak said. “It popped out and I tried my best to get it past the goalie.”
The Goats snapped their 12-game winless streak last week without leading scorer Erick “Cubo” Torres, who was on duty with the Mexican national team for the second time this season. With Torres still gone, the offense struggled to generate opportunities early -- the Rojiblancos had only three attempts on goal in the first half, while Colorado had 15.
Tyrpak, though, answered the call when head coach Wilmer Cabrera summoned him from the bench.
“That was fantastic for him,” Cabrera told reporters.
Cabrera said he spoke to his players at halftime about staying calm, reiterating that patience would lead to better passing lanes. Tyrpak created those lanes himself, weaving through defenders and igniting a comeback. One teammate referred to him as “Messi” on the signed ball.
“It was big-time; it changed the momentum of the game,” said Tyrpak, whose last appearance was on June 8. “After that, we started playing around and keeping possession more. It led to another goal.”
With newfound confidence, Félix Borja scored the game-winner on a header in the 85th minute. Chivas USA had only three on-target shots on the night
“It was great for him, but also great for us,” Borja told reporters. “He will remember that for the rest of his life. For his career, it will be very nice.”