The Colorado Rapids Soccer Club dropped their second contest of the season 3-1 against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday night at Children’s Mercy Park, snapping a five-game winning streak against their Western Conference rival.
Kevin Doyle tallied his first goal of the year via the penalty spot in second-half stoppage time, but it was too late as Seth Sinovic, Gerso and Dom Dwyer all found the back of the net for the home side.
After three weeks without a regular season contest, Pablo Mastroeni made a couple of tweaks to the starting lineup. Eric Miller returned after missing the last match due to a hamstring injury, Homegrown player Kortne Ford made his professional debut at center back, and Nana Boateng lined up in the midfield alongside Micheal Azira in his first MLS start.
It would only take six minutes for Sporting KC to get on the scoresheet as Seth Sinovic’s first-ever regular season goal squeezed through Ford and Tim Howard. Gerso’s nifty outswinging cross into the area got past a couple of bodies, and Sinovic would rifle home a left-footed strike to give the home side the early lead.
The Rapids seemed to settle into the match and controlled a large chunk of the possession in the first half. Just before the interval, the visitors had two clear opportunities to even the score but headed to the locker rooms trailing 1-0. Dominique Badji got on the end of a Doyle cross but his powerful header forced an acrobaitc save from Tim Melia. Moments later, Marlon Hairston’s ball across the face of goal barely missed an outstretched Micheal Azira at the far post.
The home side would double their lead in the 58th minute through Gerso. As the Rapids pushed with numbers forward, Dom Dwyer countered and found Roger Espinoza on the right flank. The Honduran international sent a well-laced through ball to Gerso, who beat Howard at the near post.
Looking to get one back, the Rapids made a pair of substitutions in the attack. Caleb Calvert replaced Shkëlzen Gashi in the 68th minute. Five minutes later, Dillon Powers would replace Nana – ending the Ghanaian’s first-ever MLS start.
Instead, Dwyer would make it three for the hosts six minutes from time. Great build-up play between Sinovic and Soni Mustivar ended with Dwyer’s first goal of the season.
In the dying moments of the match, Doyle would also open his 2017 scoring account after Badji was brought down inside the box by Mustivar. The Irish international bagged his 12th regular season goal for the Rapids, and first from the penalty spot since the shootout of the second leg of last year’s Western Conference Semifinals.
The Rapids (1-2-1) return to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park next weekend to host Real Salt Lake in the first of three Rocky Mountain Cup showdowns of 2017. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MT on Saturday, April 15.