On the celebratory birthday of the United States, the Columbus Crew travelled to take on the Colorado Rapids in a game that took its time getting going, but gave fans some fireworks in the latter stages. In the end, a 1-1 draw was the result, but both teams had opportunities to take the full three points.
Colorado came out of the gates fast, as forward Vicente Sanchez had a volley saved by Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark just a minute and a half into the match. The rebound fell to forward Deshorn Brown, but his follow up effort was off the mark.
In the 19th minute, Crew midfielder Ethan Finlay had a dazzling run down the outside of the pitch and found attacking midfielder Ben Speas open in the center of the box. Speas' effort from six yards out looked destined for the net until defender Shane O'Neill came up with the saving block.
Just six minutes later, the Crew had another good opportunity to open the scoring. A corner sent in from Speas was headed down by midfielder Justin Meram, but Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin made a diving save to keep the game scoreless.
The sides battled back and forth throughout the rest of the half, but neither was able to find the breakthrough.
After the break, Columbus came out the hungrier side and appeared to be rewarded for their work in the 57th minute. Striker Jairo Arrieta finished a Finlay cross, but the assistant referee raised his flag for offside on a very close call.
Just two minutes later, Colorado opened the scoring with an Eric Gehrig own goal. It initially appeared Sanchez headed home a Marvell Wynne effort to give his side the 1-0 lead, but upon further review, the ball came off the head of a on-rushing Gehrig.
Midfielder Tony Tchani had the chance to tie the score in the 69th minute, when his headed effort from a corner kick was saved by Irwin. Arrieta also forced Irwin into a diving save in the 73rd minute with a low shot.
After fairly consistent pressure, the Crew capitalized on a Rapids mistake to pull the game level. Colorado midfielder Jared Watts got on the end of a Columbus through ball, but his strong touch was taken by Finlay and put past Irwin for a 1-1 tie.
This marks the fourth consecutive draw for the Black and Gold after two 0-0 games. They go on the road again next week to take on the New York Red Bulls.