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Rapids Takeaways: Rafael Navarro scores first goal for Colorado in tie vs. FC Dallas

The Colorado Rapids had MLS Cup hopefuls FC Dallas on the ropes in the penultimate game of the 2023 campaign.

At full time, the Texans will still be holding on to dear life heading into Decision Day as they barely sit above the playoff line, while the already eliminated Rapids felt they should’ve taken all three points on the road in a 1-1 tie.

Here are three takeaways from the draw down in Frisco, Texas.

Navarro scores first goal for Colorado

Brazilian designated player Rafael Navarro at last got off the schneid, scoring his first goal for the Rapids. Navarro, 23, signed a year-long loan from Palmeiras in July and could be a record transfer fee next summer. In the 25th minute, Navarro took matters into his own hands as he was first to a Cole Bassett free kick, which bounced down off the crossbar and right into the Brazilian’s path as he stabbed it home to make it 1-0.

Coaches and teammates alike have spoken about how hard he works in practice and in games, and the Brazilian said postgame through a team translator that scoring was a moment of relief.

“It bothers (us attackers) a lot that we don’t score, and me for going this long without scoring, so I was extremely happy,” Navarro said. “It was really important to score before the end of the season.”

Interim head coach Chris Little added that Navarro’s mindset as a striker during the drought has been strong.

“They live on goals and it hasn’t happened for him. It would’ve been easy for him just to kind of drop his head and he hasn’t. He’s a top professional who works so hard for the team and he deserved that.”

Giving Anderson another shot

The Homegrown Sebastian Anderson has been making his presence known to both first-team and Rapids 2 coaches alike. Anderson, a right back, started against Austin FC in late September, while he’s also been a leader for R2, which will play for a spot in MLS NEXT Pro Cup on Sunday. His form, including last weekend’s playoff win, was a key factor in getting the start on Saturday.

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