Colorado Rapids’ Sharpe becomes first Australian to win MLS Cup

Chris Sharpe became the first Australian to win the Major Soccer League (MLS) Cup on Sunday night (Monday afternoon AEDT).
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Chris Sharpe became the first Australian to win the Major Soccer League (MLS) Cup on Sunday night (Monday afternoon AEDT).

The 29-year old was a member of the Colorado Rapids squad which took out the Cup with a 2-1 win over FC Dallas in a tense final at BMO Field in Toronto.

Sharpe was overjoyed after the match and although he did not play an on-field role in the Rapids successful run in the play-offs, he feels just as much a part of the triumph as everybody else who was involved.

“Unbelievable!” Sharpe told tribalfootball.com how he felt after the win.

“What an experience to go through with this team. (It’s) something no one can ever take away from you, a MLS Cup Champion and also the first Aussie ever to win an MLS Cup.”

Sharpe concedes that the decider was not a classic but said it didn’t really matter at the end of the day.

“You know it wasn't the prettiest game of football ever, and I guess cup finals never are,” he added. “Dallas are such a talented side and to be fair they started out the first 30 minutes of the game on top and got their just reward with (David) Ferreira scoring.

“But going into half-time with some decent momentum and knowing the never-say-die attitude of the group of players we have, we knew we could get ourselves back in the game.

“Conor (Casey) got us the equalizer early in the second half and it was pretty back and forth from there on out.

“Mac Kandji did enough to poke the ball across the goal in the first period of extra-time and get a lucky deflection off George John, that beat the keeper.

“We knew that they would just throw everything forward after that which they did, a couple of close moments for us but the defense held tight and once that final whistle blew it was just pure elation! Something you work so hard for and that was just reward to our group of players!!”

It was the first MLS Cup win for the Rapids following their defeat in the 1997 final to DC United and the significance of the achievement was definitely not lost on Sharpe.

“This is a very big moment in the clubs history,” he said. “The club had been in one final before and lost, we have not made the playoffs the past 3 years and then to come in the playoffs as a lower seed and win is amazing!

“I think this will really help put Colorado on the map as a footballing club to hopefully now attract some big international teams to play against, attract interest from Designated Players wanting to come and play here and most of all attract the Colorado public and fans to come out next season and support their championship-winning side and really fill the stadium every week with 20,000 people.”

And after all the jubilation and celebrations, Sharpe made sure he did not let the supporters – both from a club and individual perspective – go by without being thanked.

“I also would just like to thank all the supporters who not only travelled to Toronto to support us, but where here in Denver when we arrived home and for the Parade today,” he added further.

“We could not have done this without you all and we certainly owe a lot of this to you!

“Thank you everyone; family, friends and fans, who sent emails, text messages and mail to all of us we appreciate it very much!”

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