HOUSTON, TX. – The 2020 MLS regular season is over. Colorado Rapids won their final three games of the regular season to make the playoffs. In a wild Decision Day 2020, in which every team played their final match of the season, Colorado won at Houston Dynamo on a late goal.
Colorado Rapids win Third Game in a row to Finish 5th in Western Conference
The Rapids came into Decision Day relatively stress free compared to other teams in the league. They had already clinched a playoff berth. They weren’t in position to win the top spot in the conference. A lot of bad things would need to happen for them to drop in the standings.
They were playing with house money: Get a win and move up to the 5th seed.
The Games as They Happened:
Rapids supporters would have eyes on Minnesota United FC hosting FC Dallas, Los Angeles FC hosting Portland Timbers FC, and Seattle Sounders FC hosting San Jose Earthquakes.
The Minnesota game didn’t matter too much in terms of the result. If Colorado defeated Houston, they would jump to 5th no matter what. This game just determined who they would pass in addition to LAFC.
The game ended up not being competitive. Kevin Molino recorded a brace and an assist. The Loons scored in the 17th, 47th, and 79th minute to beat Dallas 3-0. With that, Colorado passed FCD in the table with their win.
The LAFC and San Jose games ended up being less consequential. The Quakes have been very inconsistent this year. When they show up and give 100%, they can compete with great teams. When they do not show up, they get blown out. Seattle scored two quick goals in the second half and went on to win emphatically 4-1.
LAFC scored early and controlled the play against Portland. At the death, Jorge Villafana scored against the run of play on a header to make it a 1-1 draw.
Rapids Keep Fighting to Finish Fifth:
With these results, the situation was simple. Rapids win and they finish 5th. Any other result and they remain in 7th.
The game wasn’t the prettiest. Manager Robin Fraser chose to rotate the squad with only four regular starters in their normal roles. Houston had good energy despite already being eliminated from the playoffs. The Dynamo had several really good opportunities in the first half but the half ended scoreless.
Colorado gradually subbed on starters to turn the tide in the match. Younes Namli scored on a rebound off a counter attack that he made happen on the hour mark.
Both teams had the best chances playing direct, at times Route One soccer. Mauro Manotas got a bit of a lucky bounce eight minutes later to score. He previously put the ball in the net but that play was called offside. Houston did well passing the ball in tight spaces and the shot from Manotas was deflected by Lalas Abubakar and William Yarbrough.
The game seemed headed for a draw, with someone needing to make a spectacular play to get a win. Substitute Diego Rubio made a perfectly timed run into space. Cole Bassett delivered a well weighted ball. Rubio ran towards goal, cut to his right to set up a shooting angle, and buried the shot to the bottom far corner.
With that Colorado Rapids won the match 2-1 and finished 5th in the Western Conference. With that, they will play Minnesota United in the opening round.
LAFC’s draw moved them into 7th. Dallas fell to 6th. San Jose remained in 8th.
— Matt Pollard (@LWOSMattPollard) November 9, 2020