Diego Rubio's amazing free kick and a second goal in as many away games went back as the difference for Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake's Rio Tinto Stadium on Sunday.
Rubio's first goal of the season came in the middle of the first half, giving Colorado Rapids a 1-0 win, the club's first win of the season, against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
“That was a really hard-fought win. We certainly had some really good moments in the game that created a number of opportunities. I felt like we had to end one of the other chances sooner, but a great free kick from Diego and then it was a determined effort as they started putting more and more pressure on, ”said Rapids coach Robin Fraser. “We defended ourselves quite well and created some opportunities for counterattacks. You could say we would have liked to score another goal, but at the end of the day they fought hard and won on the road. "
Younes Namli was fouled just outside the box on the left side of the field 26 minutes into the action. Rubio stepped forward to take the free kick, and his blow rolled over Vancouver's wall, dipping just enough to hit the bottom of the crossbar as it made its way over the line.
"If that's not the MLS goal of the week, I don't know," said Rapids defender Auston Trusty. "That was a blast."
Thanks to Rubio's goal, a couple of saves by William Yarbrough and a shot on goal by Danny Wilson, the Rapids took advantage of the 1-0 advantage in the dressing room.
"That was a good rescue he had," said Trusty of his partner in central defense. “We were just talking about it in the locker room. It was both our turn to try to block this because we just didn't take any chances. "
Michael Barrios and substitutes Cole Bassett and Jonathan Lewis created good chances in the second half, but one or two more Yarbrough saves in the final 45 minutes were enough to end the club's first win of the season. The defense took another step towards normalcy when Colorado Springs-born left-back Sam Vines appeared for the first time this season after injury. This allowed Kellyn Acosta to return to midfield.
"Vinesy performed well," said Fraser. "It has not been played for a few weeks. For him that means that he has his feet under him again." It was a good game of his because he was solid defensively and he gets sharper over time. "
The Rapids will be looking for their second win of the season, first at home, when Minnesota United visits Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday. Even though United kicked the Rapids out of the playoffs a season ago, Fraser didn't have time to talk about revenge.
"It's a new season and we have new goals," said Fraser. "It's another opportunity for us to get better and hopefully get three points at home."