By JOSE M. ROMERO
The Colorado Rapids are off to their best start in team history, offering further proof that last season's MLS Cup run perhaps was no fluke.
Imagine, then, what more the Rapids might have accomplished with big Caleb Folan available to them. Folan just signed two weeks ago from Hull City some time after a winter trial in Arizona with the Rapids, and Colorado's efforts to retain him paid off with a pair of goals in their 4-1 laugher over D.C. United Sunday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Folan's first goal was his best. In the 38th minute, he took a pass from Jeff Larentowicz, settled it and dribbled around defender Rodrigo Brasesco, clearing space to drive in a shot that beat DCU goalkeeper Pat Onstad.
D.C. United actually tied the score at 1 in the 70th minute, Santino Quaranta scoring off a long cross from Chris Korb that he shot in for a goal. But that tie lasted a minute at the most, as Jamie Smith rans across the box and headed in an accurate ball from Anthony Wallace for a 2-1 Rapids lead.
DCU was without injured forward Charlie Davies and three other players out either due to injury or absence. It showed, with the ease in which Folan and others were able to find space in front of the goal area.
Folan started alongside Conor Casey, giving the Rapids an imposing duo up front. But Casey had to leave the match soon after the second half started with what looked like a pulled hamstring, replaced by Omar Cummings, who normally starts with Casey.
Colorado went up 3-1 in the 81st minute, Folan's header off a good pass from substitute midfielder Sanna Nyassi getting past Onstad in the corner.
With the game in hand and a small crowd of diehards (listed at 9,857 but it looked to be fewer in the stands) celebrating in the freezing night, Cummings capped off the win by putting in a cross from Pablo Mastroeni that was deflected into the air. Players walked off the field amid snow flurries.
The Rapids are 3-0-0 for the first time ever.