Cole Bassett came on as a second half, sparking the Colorado Rapids to an impressive 3-2 comeback win over Minnesota United on Saturday night. The win gives the suddenly solid Rapids a 2-1-1 (seven points) start to the season.
And for Bassett, it was a bold statement that the 19-year old midfielder deserves to be back in the Colorado Rapids Starting XI once again.
It was Bassett’s second straight match coming off the bench for the Colorado Rapids. But given his performance in getting the equalizer in the 71st minute, there could certainly be a pathway for the Rapids Homegrown to get back into the starting lineup.
“We were down two-nil already, so I came in with really nothing to lose. I was trying to change the game for the team,” Bassett said after the game.
“I thought we didn’t have much energy and I had a feeling like I could provide a spark of energy to drive the team forward and create chances. That was my mindset coming in and also to give pressure on the backline for them. I felt like they were playing too freely in between the lines, so once I came in, me and Diego [Rubio] did a good job of getting pressure on them and they didn’t have time to face forward and that allowed our back guys to win the ball and we could start going forward again.”
Bassett started the first two games of the season for the Rapids before coming off the bench for the last two games, including Saturday night’s heroics in keying his club’s comeback. He came on in the 27th minute for the Rapids against Minnesota.
Eleven minutes after Bassett grabbed the equalizer, midfielder Danny Wilson got the winner to get the Colorado Rapids an important (and impressive) three points at home. Not too bad, given that the Rapids were down 2-0 midway through the first half.
But the story was the emergence of Bassett and the way his play on the pitch made a statement for a greater role moving forward. The Rapids have a deep midfield currently and Bassett’s strong play makes for some competition for head coach Robin Fraser.
“It was just a statement by him that he was there to work and that he was going to do everything that he could to disrupt and I thought he did a really good job of it throughout the night,” Fraser said following the match.
“The mood at halftime was understandably a little bit somber but by the same token, by the time I had gotten in there they had already gotten on each other about how much better it needed to be and I think by the end of halftime we came out with a lot of belief. As I said, to be down 2-0 at home but to come out with that kind of belief from the start of the second half, I think they look at each other and they are a group that trusts each other and they just said enough was a enough and it had to be better and they were fully accountable to each other in the second half.”
With the loss, Minnesota United are 0-0-4 to start the season and are the only team in MLS without a point. It is a surprisingly bad start to the season for the club, given their run to the Western Conference Finals last season.