Diego Rubio’s 30th MLS goal of his career may have been his best one yet.
The 27-year-old Chilean national placed it in the top left corner from 25 yards out after the Colorado Rapids earned a free kick.
“Wow, that was a hell of a shot,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “That was my personal thought, but Diego works hard at it and he takes it seriously. And I don’t think any of us were surprised. But when you see one hit that well you can’t help but think wow.”
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) May 3, 2021
The wonder strike in the 26th minute gave the Rapids a 1-0 lead. That ended up being all they needed to get a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, earning their first victory of the 2021 season.
“We defended quite well, created some very good counter-attacking opportunities,” Fraser said. “And while you could say we would love to have scored another goal, the end of the day they fought hard and earned a win on the road.”
It was Rubio’s first goal of the season and his 15th goal for the club since joining the Rapids via trade from Sporting Kansas City before the 2019 season.
“Banger! That was a nice goal,” defender Auston Trusty said. “I was screaming. I wish I was mic’d up because I was screaming. If that’s not the MLS goal of the week then I don’t know.”
The Rapids tweeted about how it should be the MLS goal of the week as well — although the honor could go to Jackson Yueill of the San Jose Earthquakes who hit one off the volley Saturday against D.C. United.
The Rapids have now failed to score from open play in each of the first three games of the season. Both goals came from set pieces, Andre Shinyashiki’s off of a corner and Rubio’s from a free kick.
“If you go back and look at the number of chances we created, I’m not all that worried about (not having a goal from open play),” Fraser said. “Through good play, we’ll create good chances and we have good players who will convert them. Just tonight wasn’t the night.”
In 2019, they led the league in goals from set pieces and were tied for fifth last season. They registered 16 total shots against the Whitecaps, including six on target. They created a total of 13 chances.
Rubio finished the game tied for the most shots in the match with four and was second on the team in chances created.
Shinyashiki also registered four shots, including three on target, which ties for the most in his career.