After losing two MLS games in a row for the first time in 2016, the Colorado Rapids were starting to feel the pressure of injuries. They faced FC Dallas, who has proven to be the top team in the West if not all of MLS, on Saturday night.

The Rapids were able to put together a 1-0 upset behind the great play of a young team behind the lead of some of the team’s top veterans. Pablo Mastroeni, head coach of the Rapids couldn’t say enough about the whole organization after the win.

“The coaching staff and myself worked tirelessly to put forth the game plan,” Mastroeni said on From The Pitch on Mile High Sports. “A training staff that worked tirelessly to get everyone healthy to get as many players as we can to be able to compete. A group of guys that executed a game plan with the spirit, with the commitment, with comradery with a fight that best represents being a Colorado Rapids player. And we put forth a great result against a very well-coached team, organized team, a team that’s been undefeated, a team that’s above us on the table.”

The young players stepped up against FC Dallas on Saturday night. Many players are starting to see more playing time due to the injuries the Rapids have suffered.

“I just can’t say enough about the commitment of the players. We are three or four players light,” Mastroeni said. “Everyone that played in the game, affected the game in a good way. I can’t say enough about the steely mentality and performance of the guys tonight. We’ve lost two games for the first time and a lot of people thought the sky was falling. We traveled with 16 players because we have a bunch of injuries back home. We have some players that joined us from our USL group. What I’m speaking about is not the importance of this game and how it’s reflected upon the table. I’m talking about a bunch of guys in that locker room that don’t make excuses, that turn up and put forth a performance that is driven by the soul. That’s greater than football.”

Having a goalkeeper like Tim Howard behind them seemed to calm the young players, too, knowing that they could depend on a veteran who knows how to set up positions in front of him.

“We knew we were going to be under a lot of pressure and when you have a guy like Tim Howard in goal, not only is he organizing and making it predictable by putting people in position in front of him to make saves,” Mastroeni said. “The confidence that he brings to the back-line, knowing that they have Tim Howard behind him, I think, is exponentially important.”

Other veterans have stepped up while injuries have sat some key position players on the sideline, and they did just that on Saturday, leading to a victory against FC Dallas.

“You need big performances when you have a relatively young team on the field from your experienced players and I thought tonight Sam (Cronin), Marc Burch and Tim Howard played a fantastic game,” Mastroeni said.

The Rapids face the San Jose Quakes this Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.

Listen to the whole conversation with Pablo Masteroeni, in the podcast below…

Catch From the Pitch with Marcelo Balboa Sundays from 4p-6p on Mile high Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.