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Hill, Akpan provide winning close

October 28, 2012 | 9:06 pm No comments
By Shaun Schafer

The Colorado Rapids closed the season in a fashion nearly identical to the way the team started 2012.

The Rapids beat the Houston Dynamo 2-0 on Saturday night in Commerce City. The team closed the season on a two-game winning streak, the same way the Rapids opened the campaign.

In the four games that bookend the 34-game season, the Rapids scored eight goals, allowed only one and earned four wins.

In between those two streaks, the Rapids managed seven victories out of 30 games and failed to win consecutive matches. The team, 11-19-4 (37 points), finished seventh in the Western Conference. The MLS Cup Champions from 2010 missed the playoffs by six points, and finished seven points ahead of the cellar-dwelling Chivas USA side.

Kamani Hill started for the third time this season and picked up his fifth goal of the year against a Houston side playing mostly reserves. Hill’s 9th minute strike, off an assist from Jaime Castrillon, provided the only tally as the Rapids dominated the first half.

Andre Akpan provided the final margin of victory in the 76th minute when he latched on to a rebound of a Martin Rivero shot. Akpan’s header was his third goal in 15 appearances for the club.

First Appearance: Homegrown player Davy Armstrong appeared in the closing minutes for his professional debut.

Award Winners: After the game, the club announced the following award winners for the season.

Goalkeeper Matt Pickens was named the team’s Most Valuable Player and picked up a new award, Fan Favorite, for his 2010 performance. Pickens set the club record for shutouts and moved that marker to 29, from Joe Cannon’s career mark of 25. Pickens also holds the record for wins for 41.

Defender and captain Drew Moor earned Defensive Player of the Year honors for the third consecutive year. Moor also played every minute of every game this season.

Rivero, who ended the year with two goals and a team-high eight assists, was named the Young Player of the Year. The 22-year-old was a mainstay of the squad during this disappointing season.

Finally, Castrillon earned the Golden Boot for his team-leading eight goals. The eight goals for Castrillon was one more than Jeff Larentowicz, a defensive midfielder, scored to lead the team in 2011. Omar Cummings led the team with 14 goals in 2010.

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