Dominique Badji is very familiar with New England, having been a member of the Boston Univ. Terriers soccer team before being selected in the 4th round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
Now in his third season, Badji is still making an a significant contribution for a Rapids team that struggled to score last year.
Badji nodded home a rebound during a scramble in the box in the 52nd minute to lead the Colorado Rapids past the New England Revolution in each team’s MLS 2017 season opener.
Chances were at a premium for both teams in this one, and each team’s best chance came in the first half. Revs keeper Cody Cropper (2 saves) was quick off his line to smother the danger when Kevin Doyle found himself all alone inside the penalty area. Rapids goalie Zac MacMath (2 saves) best moment came against Kei Kamara, who chested down a cross from Diego Fagundez and fired a bouncing volley only to have MacMath’s strong hand keep the ball from going into the net.
The Revs were credited with three shots on target out of nine total with the Rapids two of eight shooting on the night. The Rapids goal in the 52nd minute by Badji originally started as a set piece. Dillon Power’s free kick from the right wing found Doyle but his initial header was off the bar and the ensuing chaos found Cropper off his line and Badji with a simple, tap-in header.
The second half got fairly chippy, with yellow cards going to Caleb Calvert, Powers, Sam Cronin of the Rapids and Kei Kamara of the Revs in a span of about ten minutes. Alan Gordon subbed into the game and commited a foul in his first minute of play as well.
On top of the loss, New England was forced to sub Lee Nguyen out of the game with an ankle contusion just before the hour mark. Daigo Kobayahsi replaced him in the Revs midfield but aside from a few half chances the Revs created little the rest of the way.
In stoppage time, substitute Teal Bunbury opted to go towards goal himself rather than possibly setting up a streaking Kei Kamara down the middle of the field. Bunbury eventually was forced over the endline for a goal kick.
The Revolution return home next weekend for their home opener against Orlando City SC on March 11th at 2pm EDT.