The Colorado Rapids continue to turn heads.
On Tuesday night, they proved once again why they should be considered one of the top teams in MLS, as their set piece mastery delivered yet another goal and an impressive road win.
Andre Shinyashiki’s header of a Jack Price corner kick lifted the Rapids to a 2-1 victory over the third-place L.A. Galaxy. And for the second time in four days, the Rapids came away with three points on the road.
“In terms of going on the road against one of the best teams in the league and coming out of here with a win, obviously we’re extremely proud,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “… Really a tremendous effort in tough conditions.”
The Rapids are in fourth place in the Western Conference but only three points shy of first place Sporting Kansas City with a game in hand. They continue to find ways to scrape out wins despite not having the appearance of a traditional top team.
The Rapids were out-possessed and out-shot in Tuesday’s contest, yet they still found a way to have the more significant scoring chances in the game.
“At the end of the day, sometimes you have to grind,” Fraser said. “You have to be able to grind to be successful and they’re learning that and gaining an appreciation for that and recognizing what their hard work can bring.
“Whether we play well or play poorly, whether everything goes our way or everything goes against us, they never stop fighting.”
The Rapids have shown an ability to find ways to capitalize on scoring opportunities.
Shinyashiki’s header in the 73rd minute was the team’s eighth set-piece goal this season and the continuation of a theme that has now spanned multiple seasons.
“All credit to (assistant coach Chris Sharpe), he’s the one that sets those plays up and we just do it,” said Shinyashiki, a DU product who now has four goals this season.
The Rapids are fifth in MLS in set-piece goals after finishing fifth last season and first the year before that. Whatever Sharpe, an assistant with the club since 2014, is drawing up continues to work.
“He’s magnificent, the detail he gives us on set pieces,” Price said.
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