When Spanish midfielder Jose Mari joined the Colorado Rapids in early February, the team knew it was getting an experienced "defensive midfielder." Neither Mari, nor the Rapids, would have expected Mari to own the only goals coming from the run of play this season.
Two goals, one off each foot, with both shots coming from 20 yards away.
"The truth is those are the two best goals that I've ever scored," said Mari through a translator. "It's also true, I understand the importance that they have. These are three very important points for us and we have to keep growing."
"He's your all around complete six (midfielder) and you know we're delighted to have him around," said head coach Pablo Mastroeni. "More importantly it's the aura that he gives the other guys on the team."
Vancouver took a 1-0 lead in the 67TH minute when forward Darren Mattocks broke free on the attack and slipped a shot over the head of charging Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin. The Whitecaps were then reduced to 10 men after Matias Leba was sent off for his second yellow card (hand ball) of the match. The Rapids took advantage, with Mari scoring both goals in three minutes. The first (79th minute) came from the left wing, as Mari curled a left-footed shot around keeper David Outsed, glancing off the far post and into the net. The second (81st minute)came from straight on goal, as Mari used his right foot to curl a shot into the side netting from 20 yards away.
"[Jose Mari] has been a great player for us," said captain Drew Moor. "That goal, really both goals, but the first one especially gave us so much life."
Colorado moves to 2-1-1 with the win (7 points), and land at fourth place in the Western Conference standings. They head back to Canada next Saturday to face Toronto FC at 2:00pm MT.
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)