for this game

Casey's goal lifts Rapids past Toronto FC, 1-0

Sep 7, 2009 - 5:01 AM By DALE BUBLITZ STATS MLS Correspondent

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (STATS) - Toronto FC came to Dicks Sporting Good Park thinking they had caught a break. They were led to believe that Conor Casey wouldn't be with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.

"We saw a report that he would be away," Toronto coach Chris Cummins said. "Instead we walk in and see that he's on the team sheet for the game."

"We were shocked," Cummins said.

Casey proved to be the difference, scoring in the 51st minute to lead the Rapids to a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday night.

Casey was supposed to be away with the U.S. team, but two impacted wisdom teeth kept him in Denver. He had the teeth extracted last Monday.

"I had been called to the U.S. team camp, but my teeth had gotten infected and they had to be taken out," Casey said. "It wasn't something that I could wait on and so I went in Monday and had them taken out.

"Sure, I was I was disappointed not to be able to go, but given the circumstances there was nothing I could do," Casey said. "So with nearly a week of rest, I was healthy come game day and obviously was going to play."

Matt Pickens recorded his seventh shutout of the season and 18th of his career for Colorado (10-7-6), which has won two straight overall and five of six at home.

Casey scored his MLS-leading 12th goal of the year. Omar Cummings passed to Jacob Peterson, who pushed the ball ahead to Casey, whose header sailed past goalkeeper Stefan Frei's left shoulder.

"Just a great pass from Jacob," Casey said. "Omar, Jacob and I always maintain good eye contact with each other."

The Rapids' defense has been the best in MLS at home, allowing eight goals in 13 matches. Colorado's offense has scored 10 goals in its last five home games.

Toronto (8-9-7) failed to score for the fourth consecutive road game and was blanked for the seventh time overall this season.

"Somebody has to reach and work harder to find the back of the net," Cummins said. "We had nowhere near enough attempts tonight. I thought we had but one shot on target."

After Casey's goal, Pickens denied Toronto of a goal when he smothered a kick by Chad Barrett from a tough angle taken from the side of the left post.

Toronto never challenged again. It's comeback bid was further hampered when midfielder Amadou Sanyang received a red-card ejection in the 76th minute. Adrian Serioux got a red-card ejection in the 86th minute.

Scoring chances were limited as defense dominated the scoreless first half. The Rapids had three of the four opportunities.

The best came in the 25th minute when Casey hit the middle of the crossbar on a penalty kick from deep inside the scoring area. Frei blocked Mehdi Ballouchy's shot from the slot in the in the sixth minute and smothered a kick by Jacob Peterson in the 41st.

"It's never very good to miss a penalty good," Casey said. "I hit it a little bit high, but fortunately I was able to redeem myself in the second half and get the miss out of my head."

Pickens caught Toronto's best chance, a shot by Dwayne De Rosario in the 10th minute. It proved to be the one shot on target that Cummins referred to.

The Rapids were without captain Pablo Mastroeni, who served the first of a two-game suspension for endangering the safety of Houston's Andrew Hainault during a 1-0 victory over the Dynamo.

Toronto midfielder Amado Guevara missed the game due to his commitment to the Honduran team.

"I think we showed a lot of character," Colorado coach Gary Smith said. "We could have felt sorry for ourselves after the missed penalty kick, but we kept playing and won."

The teams meet again Sept. 11 in Toronto.