By Stephanie Gardner
If you were at Dick Sporting Goods Park this past Saturday night, you witnessed a match where the Colorado Rapids powerfully defeated the Chivas USA 3-0. It came as no surprise that due to his two goals and amazing performance, Omar Cummings was named not only “Man of the Match”, but also MLS “Player of the Week”. 90soccer.com was able to sit down with Cummings (photo), after the thrilling match Saturday night, to talk about the game, the player, and of course, the shoes.
When Omar Cummings left the pitch at half, the score was 0-0, and he was wearing his new blue and white Pumas. During halftime, the sun went down, and as the lights in the Park came on, so did the excitement that comes with an evening match. When Cummings approached the second half wearing his yellow boots, the fans began to anticipate an exciting 45 minutes. They were not disappointed. Cummings shot and Conor Casey rebounded it to score. The next two goals were beautiful shots by Cummings. Every one of these goals was unanswered by the Chivas USA.
This performance is noticeably different from the Rapids’ midseason, where the majority of the games ended in a tie. Omar Cummings observes the difference, “Tonight, Conor and I were playing up front. We only did it two games so far this season. I think it is more pressure on, with us working together and getting that combination between us two.” It is unquestionable that Conor Casey and Omar Cummings are a fusion of skill and power on the pitch.
The road from Jamaica to MLS “Player of the Week” included attending college in Cincinnati and majoring in criminal justice. Playing college opened doors for him to play MLS. Cummings looks back saying, “I got an education, and am doing what I want to do. To play soccer has always been a dream.”
Omar Cummings is a crowd favorite in Colorado. He responds to the Rapids’ supporters by saying, “I love the fans. Without the fans, we’re nothing. Imagine playing out there in the stadium when it is empty. You know, it would be nothing. For me, the fans make the game special. I love the fans and show appreciation for everything every chance I get.”
Saturday night, there was a lot of talk among the fans as to why Cummings changed shoes. Cummings simply states, “The new ones were not necessarily giving me problems. You know, they are fairly new shoes. I am still getting used to it. Tonight I wasn’t feeling myself or the shoes. So I went back to the yellow shoes, and it worked. I am going to keep working on the new ones. I like them a lot, so still got to get that fine tuning.”
Cummings will have more chances this week to fine tune those new shoes. He will be joining the Jamaican national team Tuesday in Ft. Lauderdale. “I will go there and take business with my national team, and then my focus will be to the New York game coming up. I will be there a little bit longer, so hopefully I can get some time alone, some practices, some touches. Relax and get ready for the game.”
The Colorado Rapids next game is this Saturday, September 11, in New York against the Red Bulls. If anyone can win in a setting like that, it is the Colorado Rapids and the MLS Player of the Week, Omar Cummings.