Deshorn Brown not only scored the first hat trick in Rapids Open Cup history, he also became the first Jamaican to score three goals since 1995. Photo: Garrett W. Ellwood, Colorado Rapids
Deshorn Brown knows how to find the back of the net. That is undebatable. The highly-decorated collegiate striker and 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year runner-up continued to show he has a penchant for goal in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup’s Fourth Round netting a hat trick in the Colorado Rapids’ 5-2 victory over Orlando City SC (USL PRO). Brown’s performance proved worthy of TheCup.us Player of the Round Award for the tournament’s Fourth Round.
The award is voted on by TheCup.us staff and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters.
Brown’s hat trick garnered just enough votes for the award as the Jamaican international barely edged out a couple of strong upset performances by NASL players like New York Cosmos forward Mads Stokkelien and Carolina Railhawks goalkeeper Scott Goodwin for the honor. The Atlanta Silverbacks’ Kwadwo Poku and Philadelphia Union’s Andrew Wenger both received a considerable amount of votes in one of the most wide open votes of 2014.
Brown was at the center of a dominating offensive performance as the Rapids out-shot Orlando City SC 23-6. The Lions, who have been one of the strongest USL PRO teams since joining the league in 2011, entered the tournament undefeated in league play.
After giving up an early goal, Brown responded with an equalizer in the 35th minute. Just after halftime, Brown completed the hat trick with two goals in eight minutes (47th, 55th mins.) as the route was on with a 4-1 lead.
The second-year forward has also found the scoring touch during the month of June scoring three goals in as many games in MLS play, scored his first professional hat trick during the second half of the Rapids game against Orlando. In addition to bagging his first professional hat trick, Brown also became the first Colorado Rapids player to score three goals in Open Cup play and also became the first Jamaican to achieve the feat in an Open Cup game in the tournament’s Modern Professional Era (1995-present).
For those who are familiar with Brown, his performance should come as no surprise. The University of Mobile and University of Central Florida striker was selected sixth overall in the 2013 MLS Draft amid high expectations. Many believe he should have been selected higher. Brown proved why during the 2013 MLS campaign scoring a team-leading and rookie-best 10 goals while adding four assists in 31 games making headlines along the way.
The Jamaican has continued to prove he is a danger in front of goal and is fast becoming one of the biggest offensive threats in MLS. Aside from his record-setting hat trick, Brown has scored five goals in 14 games this MLS season. Brown’s penchant for goal earned him MLS Player of the Week honors for the league’s 13th week after he scored twice in the Rapids’ 3-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo on June 1.
The Rapids will surely be looking to make a deep run in this year’s tournament. If Brown’s performance against Orlando is any indication, the Colorado club has a chance to make some real waves in MLS play and in the Open Cup when the Jamaican striker is in form.
2014 TheCup.us Player of the Round winners
Round 1: Vlad Baciu (RWB Adria – USASA)
Round 2: Luke Winter (Chattanooga FC – NPSL)
Round 3: Earl Edwards Jr. (PSA Elite – USASA)
Round 4: Deshorn Brown (Colorado Rapids – MLS)
Round 5: Scott Goodwin (Carolina RailHawks – NASL)