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 Colorado Rapids

Rafael Navarro Earns Spot on Team of the Matchday Following Game-Winning Penalty Kick Conversion against Vancouver

May 16, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Colorado Rapids News Release

Striker Rafael Navarro earned his second Team of the Matchday honors of 2024 for his performance in Week 14, as the Brazilian converted a penalty kick in the first half of the Colorado Rapids' contest with Vancouver Whitecaps to clinch the game.

It was Djordje Mihailovic's shot that drew the handball in the box for the penalty kick, but Navarro's strike that lifted the Rapids to victory. His shot from the spot was his fourth penalty kick goal of the season and seventh goal overall in 2024.

"I think the club knows that he can score and there's a lot of trust in him from his teammates as well," said Head Coach Chris Armas after the match. "We've said we've got to get him into spots to do that. If it's the penalty spot, that's one way, but you can see he's dangerous in many other moments. He's worked hard at all the little things in his game--he's a real worker. As his coach, I'm always happy that these guys can score. I wasn't a goal scorer; I scored a few in my time but not too many. But I know that feeling, and for him I know it's has to feel good."

The striker has now scored in his third consecutive match, marking his sixth goal across his last seven appearances. His goal against Vancouver ties him for the seventh-most in MLS this season.

"It's important for a striker to score the goals and the group and staff have embraced me very well, so that does a lot for my confidence," said Navarro through a translator on Wednesday night postgame. "My confidence is very high."

Team of the Matchday - Matchday 14

F: Denis Bouanga (LAFC), Jonathan Rodríguez (POR), Hannes Wolf (NYC)

M: Diego Luna (RSL), Ashley Westwood (CLT), Frankie Amaya (RBNY), Sebastián Driussi (ATX)

D: Miles Robinson (CIN), Walker Zimmerman (NSH), Steven Moreira (CLB)

GK: Hugo Lloris (LAFC)

Coach: Sandro Schwarz (RBNY)

Bench: Carlos Coronel (RBNY), Adilson Malanda (CLT), Joseph Rosales (MIN), Max Arfsten (CLB), Timothy Tillman (LAFC), Luciano Acosta (CIN), Evander (POR), Kevin Kelsy (CIN), Rafael Navarro (COL)

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