The Colorado Rapids dominated their first match of the 2014 US Open Cup and secured a 5-2 victory over USL PRO side Orlando City SC.
While Orlando had their moments; possession and consistent attacking from the MLS’ Rapids was the recipe for the victory as forward Deshorn Brown notched the first hat trick in Colorado’s Open Cup history to lead his team to a Fourth Round victory.
The Rapids outshot their opponent 23-6 while owning an overwhelming majority of possession.
“We wanted to show the fans we could do it,” said Brown, who was named man of the match after becoming the first Jamaican player to score a hat trick in the tournament’s Modern Professional Era (1995-present).
Orlando City head coach Adrain Health was clearly not pleased with the rout saying that the match was the “first time in a long time I can say I was disappointed in the group … played a lot of great football, we were second best all over the field.”
The game began with steady waves of Colorado attack led by midfielders Dillon Powers and Nick LaBrocca. Brown fired shot after shot and it appeared inevitable that Colorado would get a goal if not for Orlando keeper Miguel Gallardo’s 7 first-half saves.
It was Orlando that struck first though when Adama Mbengue picked up a loose ball in the 23rd minute near the top of the 18 and sliced it past Rapids keeper Clint Irwin, his third of this year’s tournament.
Orlando’s goal inspired the Rapids to an impressive run of passing and possession, and they finally broke the ice in the 34th minute with a goal from Brown.
Moments later, leftback Marc Burch found Nick LaBrocca for the second goal and a rout seemed eminent.
In the second half, Brown added two more goals to complete a hat trick — the first of his professional career and the first in club history during Cup play.
Orlando midfielder Darwin Ceren grabbed a second goal for his side but was quickly negated by a slashing finish by Dillon Powers for Colorado’s fifth tally.
With the victory, Colorado remains undefeated at home all time in the US Open Cup and will now host the Atlanta Silverback (NASL) on June 22nd in Colorado.
“We want to win every game we play, this is another game,” said Colorado head coach Pablo Mastroeni when asked about the important of the Cup match win. “Obviously there is silverware, we want to win silverware.
“… I don’t look at results, I believe that if we truly do the little things right and keep improving on the little things, the results and the silverware will be a byproduct of that. I don’t skip the process to get to the destination.”
While the game was a let down for Orlando City it served as a quality test for the club entering Major League Soccer next year and the bright spots were noted by Heath.
“We will be on this level next year, it gave me a lot of food for thought,” he said. “(Adama) Mbengue was probably the pick of the players this evening … When you come and play an MLS team and put your group against a team like this one, it gives you an idea for what you need for next year.”