Jack Price scored his first MLS goal less than two minutes into the match, and Shkëlzen Gashi added an insurance tally late in the second half as the Colorado Rapids defeated Toronto FC 2-0 on Saturday afternoon at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
Toronto FC, the league’s defending champion, was shorthanded with injuries and after playing in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals against Club America on Tuesday in Mexico City.
Price gave the Rapids the early lead, splitting a pair of Toronto defenders with a knuckling, right-footed shot that beat the Reds’ goalkeeper Clint Irwin low and to his right side before landing in the corner of the net just 80 seconds into the match.
Colorado (2-1-2) doubled its lead in the 78th minute on a penalty kick by Gashi. Gashi took the shot from the spot after Toronto’s Liam Fraser pulled down the Rapids’ Dominique Badji in the box.
The goal came just three minutes after the Reds’ Ager Aketxe’s left-footed shot from more than 35 yards out was high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.
The Rapids are unbeaten in their last seven home matches (3-1-3), averaging 1.8 goals per outing. Toronto, meanwhile, is winless in its last four road games (0-3-1) after going unbeaten in their prior six matches (4-0-2).
Colorado goalkeeper Tim Howard earned his second shutout of the season and 29th in his MLS career by turning away four shots.
The Rapids outshot Toronto FC 17-16, with Colorado placing seven shots on target to just four for Toronto FC (1-3-0). The Reds dominated the rest of the statistics, earning a 522-374 edge in total passes, a 57 percent to 43 percent advantage in possession, and outdueling the Rapids 51-38.
Colorado returns to the pitch on April 21 when it travels to Real Salt Lake. Toronto hosts the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final aggregate against Chivas de Guadalajara on Tuesday before returning to MLS play on April 21 at Houston.
—Field Level Media