After a breakout rookie season that included 10 goals in 24 starts, much has been made of Deshorn Brown‘s lack of goal scoring in 2014 for the Colorado Rapids.
Colorado sits in third place out in the Western Conference, trailing only the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake. With that said, they have struggled to score goals all season long. Through 12 games, the Rapids have found the back of the net just 16 times, and that includes their 4-1 rout of the Montreal Impact on Saturday.
In 11 games and 9 starts for Colorado this season, Brown has only beaten the opposing goalkeeper on two occasions. However, he has shown flashes of what made him so successful in MLS immediately. Despite the production thus far, more goals are coming for Deshorn Brown this season and for the remainder of his career.
Here are three reasons why:
1. His unbelievable pace
If there is anyone in MLS faster than Deshorn Brown, I have yet to see him. His ability to take defenders out of the picture with speed alone is remarkable. Combine that with his freakishly long legs and you have a defender’s worst nightmare in terms of a 1v1 match-up. Regardless of whether or not his touch on the ball is quality or not during any given match, his pace alone allows him to constantly be a nuisance for opposing players, goalkeepers, and coaches to prepare for.
If that is hard to believe, check out this goal where he is able to make stripping Austin Berry of the ball and finishing look like a casual stroll through the park.
2. Combination with Edson Buddle
If you have paid attention to Colorado this season, one noticeable issue in their attack has been the inability of Deshorn Brown and Edson Buddle to link up and play together successfully. At times, the two are far too far apart for them to combine to create goal scoring chances for one another.
This issue was never more prominent than during their match last week against Chivas USA. Brown and Buddle were rarely close enough to execute anything creative going towards the goal. The gap between the two kept Colorado from ever establishing anything positive in the final third, meaning they weren’t nearly dangerous enough to get the result that they desired.
However, the two forwards for the Rapids looked much more in sync and created opportunities at will, particularly for Brown. Although he was unable to capitalize on any of his chances, he was much closer to the dominant presence that he was a season ago. Troy Perkins‘s best friend, the post, was the only thing that kept Deshorn off the scoreboard on Saturday night.
As the chemistry between Buddle and Brown improves, the two could easily emerge as one of the top forward tandems in MLS. Brown is obviously dynamic and has the ability to get on the score sheet in seconds, as he did in the video below, and Buddle is just one goal away from 100 for his MLS career. If they can figure it out, expect opposing backs to struggle mightily keeping Colorado’s attack in front of them.
3. Confidence, Confidence, Confidence!
As a forward, you are critiqued by how many goals you score. Subsequently, your confidence improves when you’re scoring goals, and right now Deshorn Brown is struggling to find the net. Add that to the fact that he is just 23-years old and people shouldn’t be as surprised that his form isn’t quite what it was in 2013.
During Saturday’s match against Montreal, there were a few moments where it was apparent that Brown was lacking confidence. For instance, in the second half, he had a chance to strike a ball with his left foot on goal and instead, tried to pull it back onto his preferred right foot. In doing so, he turned the ball over, and allowed goalkeeper Troy Perkins off the hook without having to make a save.
With experience and the chances that are bound to come his way, Brown will gain confidence and ultimately, the killer instinct. Between his pace and ability, there is no reason why he can’t be a dominant goal scorer in MLS for years to come. At just 23, he has already shown glimpses of one of the most dynamic forwards that the league has seen.
Look for Desorn Brown to blossom with experience. The more he plays, the more goals he will score, and the more confidence he will have to score even more. Add confidence to his already unique repertoire of skills and you have one of the more entertaining soccer players in the world.