The only thing Colorado Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni could have asked for was better weather. Other than that, the first year MLS coach had perfect conditions for his first career coaching win in his home debut as the Rapids beat the Portland Timbers 2-0.
"At home we want to make this place difficult [for other teams] to come play and that's about a mentality," said Mastroeni after the game. "And we've been really harping on that the last couple of weeks and it was good for the guys to get their first game and really come out of the gates strong."
Also making his home debut for the Rapids was rookie goalkeeper John Berner. Berner went the full 90 minutes, making 3 saves for his first win and first shutout of his career.
"I thought it was pretty cool that this was his (Mastroeni's) home debut, his first win," said goalkeeper John Berner. "And the home opener, it was a great atmosphere. The conditions weren't ideal but I thought the team fought through and thought we had a good performance."
The Rapids and the Timbers each had multiple scoring chances in the first half, but the scored remained tied 0-0 after 45 minutes. The Rapids broke the tie on Vincente Sanchez's penalty kick in the 73rd minute. It was Sanchez's second straight game with a PK goal.
"He can change the game in one play like he's done in the last couple of games, " said Mastroeni. "And this is another great piece to build on."
The Rapids struck again via the penalty kick two minutes later, with Deshorn Brown knocking home his own rebound off a save from Timbers keeper Andrew Weber.
Colorado's record is now 1-0-1, with the Rapids sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference. They will now get set to host Sporting Kansas City on March 29th(4:00pm MT) at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.