In Major League Soccer, the most likeliest of goalscorers can come from the least likely of people. Midfielder Jose Mari, a former trialist from Real Zaragoza, showed his Spanish pedigree for his new club, Pablo Mastroeni’s Colorado Rapids, in their 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Carl Robinson’s Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, B.C. What’s interesting about this match is that Vicente Sanchez didn’t even start the game. Apparently, he wasn’t needed. That’s #depth for you.
Here are six things we learned from Saturday afternoon’s encounter in Canada.
1. No payoff in Miller Time for Kenny Miller
Kenny Miller’s hotstreak came to an end on Saturday. According to the Opta Chalkboard, Miller only recorded one blocked shot in terms of shots and was a non-factor in the contest, aside from the assist to…the next person highlighted in the six things we learned.
2. Enter Darren Mattocks
We have been waiting weeks for Darren Mattocks to finally play like Darren Mattocks. In the 66th minute, Mattocks scored on a breakaway and was onsides after similar attempts found him offsides in matches past.
3. Matias Laba sees red
The game’s turning point came in the 77th minute, when Matias Laba was fiven a second yellow card for grabbing the ball with his hand when he thought he had been fouled. Laba was already booked in the 54th minute for a different foul.
4. Jose Mari makes Vancouver pay
Two minutes later, Mari made Vancouver pay by showing all of Major League Soccer what he’s about. After receiving a pass from March Burch, Mari delivered a rocket to even the score at 1-1. Three minutes later, Vancouver goalkeeper David Ouster was screened on a play from the Rapids’ Nathan Sturgis to Mari, who sent a right-footed shot into the onion sack to make it 2-1 Colorado.
5. Big saves from Clint Irwin
Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin had a solid day on the road at BC Place. Irwin made six saves and a catch while holding down the fort on set pieces in stoppage time. Of course, it did help that a number of whistles by Ioannes Stavrides were favoring Colorado, but that’s a different story.
6. An even match for the most part
Despite the smash-and-grab antics late from Colorado, the match statistics suggest this was an even contest. However, it takes one act of madness to tip the scales in the favor of one team, and Laba’s brain explosion proved to be the difference. Colorado played a man up and would also finish a goal to the good.
|Vancouver Whitecaps||Colorado Rapids|
|14||Attempts on Goal||14|
|7||Shots on Target||3|
|3||Shots off Target||5|
|14||Open Play Crosses||7|
|0||First Yellow Cards||4|
|1||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|57%||Duels Won %||42%|
|79%||Passing Accuracy %||84%|