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  • Richard Fleming

Match Recap: Record-setting Rapids have Badji to thank


HOUSTON DYNAMO FC 0-1 COLORADO RAPIDS PNC Stadium, Houston, TX | Sunday, October 31, 2021


Dominique Badji’s third goal in three starts handed the Colorado Rapids a post-shootout franchise record 16th win as they completed the season sweep over Houston Dynamo on Sunday afternoon.


In a game shy of clear-cut chances, Badji pounced inside the penalty in the 58th minute and, with a touch and turn, found the far corner of the Dynamo net. This was Badji’s 28th goal for the Rapids, moving him to sixth on the club’s all-time list, clear of Wolde Harris.


Head coach, Robin Fraser, admitted afterwards: “I didn’t think we were very good at all, and to be honest, I definitely have to take some of the blame for that because I attempted to do a few different things today and tried to put us in a different shape.


“It was never cohesive enough so I certainly have some responsibility in that, but I just thought that as a whole we did not play particularly well.”


Victory marked the eighth road win of the season. The high is nine, though this was in 1999 and before ties were allowed in MLS. Results were determined via a shootout. Post-shootout, the most road wins the Rapids had previously enjoyed was six in 2011.


The most overall wins post-shootout had been 15, which they achieved in 2016. The 16 wins this season have been shared between home and away, albeit with one home game remaining. And, with victory, the Rapids moved to 58 points, equaling the tally totaled in 2016, and lifting them level on points with Sporting Kansas City and Seattle Sounders, the teams sitting first and second in the Western Conference. (STANDINGS).


Finally, with the clean sheet in Houston, goalkeeper William Yarbrough extended his club record to 13 shutouts for the season. The previous record for a single season was 10, which was shared by Joe Cannon (2004) and Clint Irwin (2013).


Earlier in the day, Sporting KC were beaten 2-1 at Minnesota United, keeping them at 58 points. They have a game in hand on the Rapids, which they will play on Wednesday when they visit Austin FC. The Sounders, meanwhile, play their penultimate game on Monday evening, at home to LA Galaxy.


Younes Namli returned for the Rapids at Houston, playing his first game since playing the final 32 minutes of the 3-1 loss at Real Salt Lake on October 16. It was his intricate pass through to Badji which produced the game-winner. The Dane departed proceedings soon after, but he managed about an hour, which will benefit him greatly with next weekend’s final regular season game, at home to LAFC.


On Badji’s performances in recent times, Fraser said: “What he’s done over the last couple weeks has been really special. To get his opportunity and take his opportunity the way he did initially, I thought was fantastic.


“Again, you talk about character and the type of person that he is and he took the challenge and ran with it and the goals that he’s given us, the play that he’s given us.”


Though the performance may not have been to the liming of coach and players alike, the three points means that the Rapids will finish no lower than third in the Western Conference.


Defender Auston Trusty said it best when he explained: “Wasn’t the prettiest match from us at all, but you know, sometimes football is like that and it’s kind of the teams who, when they’re not playing the best, they can grind a game and get three points and so pretty much that’s the only thing that matters.


“Obviously, we’re all kind of disappointed in how we played and (how) we came out the first half, but we kind of cleaned it up in the second half. But, at the end of the day all that matters is that we got three points.”


LINEUPS

Dynamo: Michael Nelson; Alejandro Fuenmayor, Tim Parker, Sam Junqua; Ian Hoffmann, Adalberto Carrasquilla (Boniek Garcia 64’), Joe Corona (Darwin Quintero 73’), Adam Lundqvist; Griffin Dorsey (Tyler Pasher 64’), Ariel Lassiter (Maxi Urruti 73’), Memo Rodriguez (Juan Castilla 89’). Subs not used: Marko Maric, Darwin Ceren, Maynor Figueroa, Zarek Valentin.


Rapids: William Yarbrough; Lalas Abubakar (Jonathan Lewis 61’), Danny Wilson, Auston Trusty; Steven Beitashour, Younes Namli (Diego Rubio 62’), Jack Price, Mark-Anthony Kaye (Cole Bassett 62’), Lucas Esteves; Michael Barrios (Drew Moor 76’), Dominique Badji (Andre Shinyashiki 70’). Subs not used: Clint Irwin, Jeremy Kelly, Collen Warner, Nicolas Mezquida.

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