MLS: Rafael Navarro (2 goals, assist) stars as Rapids blank Earthquakes

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Rafael Navarro recorded a brace and added an assist to lead the visiting Colorado Rapids to a 3-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

Colorado is on a three-match unbeaten streak overall (2-0-1) and hasn’t lost in its past four road matches (2-0-2).

Cole Bassett scored the Rapids’ other goal. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen made five saves for his first shutout since signing with Colorado (3-2-3, 12 points) in January.

The Earthquakes (1-7-0, three points) are on a three-match losing streak. San Jose has the fewest points of any team in MLS and the most goals allowed (20).

An Earthquakes turnover in the eighth minute left Navarro alone in San Jose’s box, and goalkeeper William Yarbrough then tripped up Navarro on an aggressive challenge. The Rapids were awarded a penalty kick for the foul in the box, and Navarro buried the chance in the 10th minute for his third penalty-kick goal of the season.

Navarro’s next tally came in the 60th minute. A cross in front of the Earthquakes’ net took two deflections, and Navarro was in position over the loose ball for the finish.

It was Navarro’s first multi-goal performance since signing with the Rapids as a Designated Player last summer. Navarro scored just once over 10 matches with Colorado during the 2023 campaign, but the forward has broken out with a team-leading four goals in eight matches this season.

In the 80th minute, Navarro set up Bassett’s insurance goal. Bassett worked his way to the edge of the box and fired a left-footed shot to score his third goal of the season.

San Jose held 58.9 percent of the possession in the match and outshot Colorado by a 22-13 margin. However, the Earthquakes rarely converted this pressure into clear, on-target chances that gave Steffen much trouble.

The Earthquakes’ two best chances were denied by the crossbar, as Niko Tsakiris and Benjamin Kikanovic each hit the iron on quality shots late in the second half.

–Field Level Media

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