Holy Crap! Victory is ours. The Colorado Rapids went all the way down to Texas and beat FC Dallas 1-0. The team's first away victory since April. In a week that saw us down in the dumps having lost another road game against Salt Lake and in which we said goodbye to a fan favorite, a header from Mike Petke (where was the Dallas defense?) of all people was enough to secure the win. We are, remarkably, back in playoff contention. There are many areas in this team that need fixing (Is Christian Gomez on the way out? Can we really afford not to play Bouna Coundoul when he is available?) but, for now, we should celebrate this much-needed win. The team, especially after the goal went in in the 59th minute, showed a resilience that has been sorely lacking by their own admission. Just go to the MLS website to see the comments from Petke and Cory Gibbs about how nobody showed up to play in Utah. (http://web.mlsnet.com/news/mls_news.jsp?ymd=20080903&content_id=185187&vkey=news_mls&fext=.jsp&partnerId=_PARTNERId__)
Tonight, however, you could see an intensity in the players to hold on to that lead and not let go and it was exciting to watch, if not exactly pretty.
Gary Smith, who has already been through some dodgy moments in his fledgling managerial career, showed a lot of guts in selecting Kosuke Kimura and Jordan Harvey to play in the backline, dropping Burciaga and the ever present Erpen. This is someone who is clearly not afraid to make the right choices for the team on any given day. Leaving Christian Gomez out is another tough decision and has to be respected even if you don't agree with it because it is not easy to leave out your most expensive, talented and experienced player. In addition, it was good to see Terry Cooke and Pablo Mastroeni back although Pablo was taken off early in the second half, hopefully more as a precaution with that hamstring injury.
The team now has a nice layoff after a seemingly very busy last couple of weeks. A few days off before preparing for two difficult home games in a row against Chicago and New England. Much needs to be done to secure the momentum gained from this improbable victory but, for now, let's get the beers in.