COMMERCE CITY, Colo.—Marlon Hairston did it all for the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night, tallying a goal and an assist in their 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“I think [Marlon] is wanting to assume a lot of the responsibility that it takes to play at this level,” said Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “He’s a guy that comes into work every day trying to improve his craft. He’s definitely a player that opposing coaches are talking about now when they talk about playing the Colorado Rapids.”
The win not only kept Colorado undefeated at home this season, but placed the Rapids back in the win column following last week’s shocking 5-1 road loss to NYCFC last week.
“It wasn’t a statement for anyone else other than the guys in the locker room,” Mastroeni said. “Everyone has doubts when you get beat up that good, regardless of the sport. It was the best week of work that we’ve had all year and the concentration today was fabulous. I thought it was our most professional performance all year.”
Hairston’s goal in the 44th minute opened the scoring for Colorado, and marked the third consecutive home match in which the 22-year-old has found the back of the net.
“Today we came out with the mindset that we need to come out here and make up for the game that we had last weekend,” Hairston said. “The mindset was to leave it all on the field and keep it going here at home and that’s what we were able to do.”
Colorado came out on the offensive in the first half, holding nearly 54 percent of the possession and out-shooting the Whitecaps with 13 shots (three on target) to Vancouver’s two, including Hairston’s opening goal.
Hairston continued to spark Colorado’s offense in the second half, linking up with Dominique Badji in the 61st minute to give Colorado its second goal. Starting on the wing after the trade of Luis Solignac to Chicago earlier this week, Badji’s goal marked his first tally since April’s Snow Clasico 2 against the New York Red Bulls.
Colorado’s offense received additional reinforcement with the injection of Sebastien Le Toux in the 74th minute, making his debut in Burgundy following Thursday's trade.
“I think he’s a player that comes in and gives 100 percent,” Mastroeni said. “He won some balls defensively and got into the box a few times, we just couldn’t find him. He’s a very good player and fits into the way we want to play.”
With the win, Colorado moved back within three points of league-leading FC Dallas in the Supporter’s Shield standings.
“We knew what was at stake,” Mastroeni said. “And we knew the implications of putting forth a poor performance and how devastating that could be to our campaign psychologically.”