Djordje Mihailovic opens Colorado Rapids account in style: "Finally!"


Winless at home this season and down 2-1 against LAFC with seven minutes to go, the Colorado Rapids needed something special to turn things around Saturday afternoon.

The 25-year-old midfielder, back in MLS as a Designated Player following an Eredivisie adventure with AZ Alkmaar, carried his new club to a dramatic 3-2 comeback victory in Matchday 7 with a 2g/1a assist performance – including a stunning free-kick equalizer in the 83rd minute followed by his 89th-minute winner.

“It was a nice display of his quality,” head coach Chris Armas said post-match. “You can see how happy the team is for him, and the fans get to see some high-end quality with some of his attacking plays tonight.”

DP-level performance

Mihailovic, a Chicago Fire FC homegrown who generated Landon Donovan MLS MVP buzz two years ago with CF Montréal under then-head coach Wilfried Nancy, made his first big statement as Colorado's marquee 2024 signing against one of the league's perennially elite clubs.

His first major impact on the game came shortly before halftime with his team trailing 1-0 after Eduard Atuesta's 8th-minute screamer, dropping a dime of a corner onto the head of defender Moïse Bombito, who scored his first MLS goal on his 24th birthday.

Substitute David Martínez gave LAFC the lead again in the 76th minute with a magnificent solo goal, but Armas’ new-look Rapids didn’t back down. And it was specifically Mihailovic who took charge, leaving World Cup-winning goalkeeper Hugo Lloris flat-footed with a beauty of a free kick in the 83rd minute.

Six minutes later, Mihailovic arrived in the six-yard box to get on the end of a pass from first-round SuperDraft pick Kimani Stewart-Baynes to secure the win and improve the Rapids to 2W-2L-2D.

“The goals that [Mihailovic] scores, some of it’s real class,” Armas said. “And some of it is just a real will to win."

Mihailovic, six games into his Rapids career, quipped postgame: "How about they, eh? Finally I scored!"

Momentum builder

Saturday's result pushed Colorado to the upper part of the Western Conference standings, unusual territory for them following their last-place finish in 2023.

In contrast, this year's Rapids have come from behind early in the season to defeat an LAFC team that has reached back-to-back MLS Cups, winning one. It's a promising turn of events for a club that, in addition to Mihailovic, also added USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen and brought homegrown Sam Vines back from Europe in 2024.

"LAFC’s one of the best teams in the West, and if you wanna be one of the best teams, you have to beat them," Mihailovic said after his Man-of-the-Match display. "We aim for playoffs and these are the types of games that we’re gonna face in playoffs."

That mindset is largely what propelled the Rapids to victory.

"This game it always felt like it was never gonna be done, we were always gonna win," the club-record signing and No. 10 said. "So like I said before, a lot of credit to the team because we never gave up."

Up next for Colorado is a Matchday 8 clash at Inter Miami CF next Saturday night (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

"I’d like to say this is a good jumping-off point that we can use," Mihailovic said. "We know next week going to Miami is going to be a challenge as well. So we enjoy this, but we have to move on quick."