COMMERCE CITY — On a night with so much angst inside Dick’s Sporting Goods Park from the fans, it was the players who kept their cool.
Colorado Rapids interim head coach Chris Little made his debut and got a win out of it, as the Rapids offense broke free from a goal-less drought in which the group was shut out in nine of its last 10 MLS games with a 2-1 win over New England Revolution Saturday night.
In the 20th minute, Centennial 38, the largest independent supporters group of the team, walked out en masse and left a message: “The badge, The Players, The fans deserve better.”
Still, Colorado (4-13-10, 22 points) erupted with a pair of second-half goals from Cole Bassett in the 48th minute and Calvin Harris in the 62nd minute as he cut inside and curled a left-footed shot into the left-hand corner. The Revs added one late, but it wasn’t enough as Colorado held on to win its second home game of the season, and first win across all competitions since July 8.
Even with the win, the Rapids are still 13 points below the playoff line.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
— Brendan Ploen (@BrendanPloen) September 17, 2023
“It doesn’t seem to be between us and them”
Bassett, a Littleton native, reflected on the walkout, which extended to fans outside of C38 who also left the stadium. Others protested by wearing black within the stadium confines. He admitted Saturday the performances haven’t been good enough at home, but said he understands the fans’ frustrations.
“If we’re playing better, it makes this whole thing better,” Bassett said. “For us, all we can control is what happens on the field. From here on out we’ve been trying to put together wins and play for them, play for the badge. … We care about the club and we know they care about us. That’s their whole intention behind it.
“They care about the club. They care about us and ultimately, I’m curious to see what happens, but as players we can control what’s on the field.”
Little sees behaviors needed for points
Little knows there’s not much time to waste as Colorado will host second-place Seattle on Wednesday. Still, the three traits he said he needs to see from the group game in and game out — hard work, team-first attitude and being responsible for each other — he saw on Saturday.
“I thought to be beat an opponent of that level, they’re a very experienced team, to beat an opponent like that we needed to embody all of that,” Little said. “I think we saw that in different moments of the game. In the first half, we were playing a little low on confidence, dug in and made us hard to beat. As the game went along, we grew in confidence and those things were there.
“Those are the values that the players set themselves and I’m delighted to get there.”
Harris celebrates big moment
When Harris scored his first goal as a Burgundy Boy, he didn’t celebrate with his team. Instead, he sprinted right over to assistant head coach Wolde Harris and leaped into his arms. Harris, who remained on staff after Robin Fraser’s firing last Tuesday, has been in charge of the offense all season. For him, it was extra sweet.
“The celebration was, about tonight. Wolde said before the game that I’m gonna score, he called it. I just gave my acknowledgements to him,” Harris said. “Throughout the year he’s shown a lot of trust in me and a person that I’ve always gone to. He’s been a great help to me and to acknowledge that was pretty cool.”
Colorado will kick off against the Seattle Sounders at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday back at DSGP.
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