Jack Price scored his first MLS goal some 78 seconds into the contest, Shkelzen Gashi converted a penalty on his 2018 debut, and the Colorado Rapids cruised to a 2-0 home victory over a depleted Toronto FC side on Saturday afternoon.
Yannick Boli also made his first appearance for the Rapids on a day Colorodo were at close to full strength and Toronto clearly weren't. With the match sandwiched between the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League semifinals and the first leg of the finals, TFC coach Greg Vanney made 10 changes from the Starting XI that drew Club America 1-1 at the Estadio Azteca on Tuesday.
Price scored on the same day his former side Wolverhampton Wanderers were promoted to the Premier League on a strike worthy of any division in the world. He carved out the opportunity himself, reaching a half-clearance and unleashing a ferocious strike that beat Clint Irwin inside the left post.
After battling injuries early this season, Gashi made came on as a second-half substitute and converted a penalty earned when Dominique Badji got around and behind Toronto defender Liam Fraser. The goal was welcome insurance for Colorado, who have won two in a row at home and are unbeaten in their last four overall
- THE BIG PICTURE: Vanney made no secret he would start a provisional lineup Saturday ahead of Tuesday's CCL final first leg against a Chivas doing the same in their Liga MX weekend fixture. But the Rapids still had to take advantage. Taking all three points when you should is one mark of an improving team under first-year boss Anthony Hudson.
If you're wondering how many Chivas regulars were in their XI in the loss to Xolos yesterday... well, they had four players with a kit number over 200. #TFCLive— Charlie O’Connor-Clarke (@charliejclarke) April 14, 2018
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Stragglers into Dick's Sporting Goods park may not yet have reached their seats in time for Price's strike. They say the ball travels a little bit quicker at altitude, and, we won't argue.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Badji may not have scored, but his persistent running in behind Toronto's defense were key in helping his side not get too comfortable after going ahead. He would've had his fifth goal of the season if not for two deceptively difficult saves from Irwin midway through the first half. And he did the hard work to set up Gashi's penalty.