Orlando City Wins 5th Straight as Colorado Rapids Come Up Short

Written by Paul Fritz

Denver, CO — Despite taking a 1-0 lead into half-time, the Colorado Rapids could not hold off Orlando City as Yoshimar Yotun and Cristian Higuita both scored giving the Rapids their second loss in a row. Orlando City is now on a five match winning streak. This is Colorado’s first loss at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park this season, however, the team’s effort and style of play showed several encouraging signs of improvement.

The Rapids scored early on in the 26th minute when forward Dominique Badji cradled the lobbed pass from midfielder Enzo Martinez, then beating the defenders and shooting it past the Orlando goalkeeper. The game plan for the Rapids was to play with a fast pace on offense and press as much as possible on defense. However, it was Orlando City who gained control of the game coming into the second half as Cristian Higuita quickly found the back of the net on a shot from outside the box that deflected off a Rapids defender. With the score 1-1, the Rapids showed creative build up play by making quick passes near the box that gave them shots on target. Orlando City goalkeeper, Joe Bendik, stopped multiple scoring opportunities including two from Rapids midfielder, Dillon Serna.

Orlando City caught a fortunate break when Colorado lost discipline on their defense, resulting in a foul inside the box on Justin Meram. Yotun converted the penalty shot, giving them a late 2-1 lead. Colorado continued to press and put together legitimate scoring opportunities yet were not able to finish them off.

For a better understanding of how aggressive the Rapids were trying to regain the lead, they ended up with 19 total fouls and 4 yellow cards. When asked about the significance of conceding fouls, Rapids coach, Anthony Hudson, remarked that they’d obviously rather not give up that many fouls, but considering the pace of the game it is clear why those fouls happened. Despite competent build-up play, the Rapids never seems confident to score on crosses and corner kicks which they had 11 in total.

The Rapids will fly to Kansas City to take on the first place team in the Western Conference in Sporting KC. The game will start at 6:30 MST on May 5th. The Lions of Orlando City will host Real Salt Lake in hopes of continuing their hot streak.

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