Colorado Rapids super-sub Alan Gordon delivers late ... again

COMMERCE CITY, Colo.–For the second MLS game in a row, a late Alan Gordon header propelled the Colorado Rapids to a comeback win at home.

It’s giving Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni a sense of déjà vu.

“I say it every press conference,” Mastroeni told reporters following Colorado's 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers. “He’s a guy that you look over and say ‘We’re in for a fight here.’ The ball is going to bounce and he’s going to find a way to score goals.”

Gordon entered the game as a substitute in the 80th minute. But it was more than enough time for the 35-year-old, who scored the game winner 9 minutes later, just before stoppage time.

“It’s kind of my M.O., right? I’m trying to make the most of my minutes and I’ve been fortunate enough to score late goals,” Gordon said. “It’s been great for the team. I’ve just been trying to add energy and be dangerous. It’s worked out.”

Gordon has made a name for himself as a “super sub” around MLS and Saturday night’s performance only further solidified the legacy.

“I’ve had some success doing this the last few years,” Gordon said. “It’s something that [Mastroeni] wanted to add to the team that they had last year. It’s always good to have somebody you can count on coming off the bench. That’s what I came here to do.”

Now with three straight wins in MLS play and four straight in all competitions, including three straight comebacks (counting Tuesday night’s comeback at home in U.S. Open Cup play), the Rapids have re-established the fighting mentality they displayed during last season’s campaign. It’s a mentality that made Colorado an attractive destination for Gordon in the offseason.

“It always shows,” Gordon said. “If you’re a team that comes back, it shows character, always. It’s something that I knew this team had. I played against this team last year and they were fighters. They were a solid group and they fought for each other. That was attractive to me because I was a type of player.”

With Colorado set to host Gordon’s former team, the LA Galaxy, four days from now, the Rapids are hoping that their momentum continues.

“We’re in a great way at the moment, but it’s not enough,” Mastroeni said. “But I feel really good about the mentality of the group.”