Saturday, July 30, 2016

Solo Saturday MLS: NYC hangs five on league's best defense

New York City 5-1 Colorado Rapids
With the MLS All Star game only two days behind us, most games are put off until what will certainly be a busy Sunday. Today, we were only gifted one match, although it looked to be a great one on paper. The shocking New York City FC, the top team in the Eastern Conference welcomed in the West's second best team in the Colorado Rapids to Yankee Stadium.

Colorado has the fortune of having MLS's top defense on the season, but that didn't stop New York City from getting on the board early and often. Frank Lampard, of all people, seems to be making up for the plethora of criticism shoved his way since arriving in MLS a year ago. He sure silenced his critics today with an impressive hat trick against MLS's defensive leaders.

His first goal came in the 28th minute. He got open and tipped in a Thomas McNamara cross from inside the six yard box. His second finished off a counter attack at the 80 minute mark with a wonderful curling effort from the top of the box. The hat trick came a few minutes later from the penalty spot.

Tony Taylor and Steven Mendoza added goals to supplement the former Chelsea star's masterful afternoon.

Skelshan Gashi provided the Rapids' consolation goal two minutes into stoppage time to ruin the NYC shutout.

Colorado's situation was made much worse by Michael Azira picking up two yellow cards in the first half and forcing his team to play a man down for the majority of the match.

New York City will certainly take this statement victory, especially considering David Villa was still resting from his All Star Game appearance just two days ago. They stretch their lead atop the East to five points over suburban rivals New York Red Bulls.

Colorado, for their part, were without Jermaine Jones. They had enough of their main cast in that it should not have mattered. Their defense is not used to conceding this much. Their 15 match unbeaten run comes to a close thanks to this poor showing. They are still within three points of Dallas for the Supporters Shield lead with a pair of matches in hand.

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