Omar Cummings did what he has consistently done over the last few games, saving the Colorado Rapids from losing their unbeaten streak yesterday with a well-taken goal just six minutes from the end of a frustrating game against a brave Dallas team. The Jamaican international calmly took a great ball from Mehdi Ballouchy just outside the penalty area, beat two defenders and shot past Dallas goalkeeper Burse. Up until that moment, it had been a tough night for Cummings who has now scored four goals in the three games since Conor Casey was called into the US national team. That is some stepping up to the plate.
Unlike Saturday's game, where Cummings basically decided the result, yesterday's game was about a strong team performance in terms of character. I didn't think they would pull off the draw amid increasing frustration at missed chances when there was so much dominance. This was somewhat typified by Ugo Ihemelu's header just minutes before Cummings got the all important goal. From a trademark cross by the energetic Terry Cooke, Ihemelu put in a seemingly perfect header that appeared to be flying into the corner but somehow missed by inches. The game appeared destined for a surprise 1-0 victory for the visitors before Cummings saved the team for a third game in a row.
As I say, though, this game was not about Omar. Ballouchy is playing his best soccer of the season and of his entire career with the Rapids. In the first half yesterday, in particular, he was the focal point for so much of the creativity in the midfield. For those who are critical of his apparent casualness, he was everywhere on the field in that first half. He looks confident, he wants the ball and he should be in this team from the start. Nick LaBrocca was also impressive last night, both defensively and offensively. It seemed that every chance the Rapids had in that first half fell to him. Props also to Pat Noonan who I thought played very well in the time he had and Jacob Peterson who had his best game of the season after coming on as a second half sub.
The Rapids continue this busy stretch with a weekend trip to Seattle. If they can get something out of that game, I really will start to be a believer.