The past year has been a long road for the Colorado Rapids’ Dillon Serna, after suffering major knee damage in a tackle from behind at Dallas last summer.
Now fully recovered from a torn ACL and lateral meniscus surgery, Serna reached the end of that road with his first start and first goal of the season in Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat to the visiting LA Galaxy.
“To get just 90 minutes of fitness, 90 minutes of just playing, being on the field again you don’t get that in training,” said the Rapids Homegrown Player. “I felt good coming into this game and felt like I could play with confidence and hopefully I’ll get some more time.”
Serna was named the home team’s Man of the Match after laced a powerful left-footed strike to bring the Rapids level at 1-1 in the 37th minute.
“I knew I was going to have some chances going forward,” Serna said. “It’s about taking those chances and I think I did that so I’m just looking to build off it.”
The attacker had already shown his levels were back to normal a week prior while playing in Colorado’s U.S. Open Cup win over the OKC Energy.
“That was a perfect game for me to show what I can do and kind of get back in the swing of things and re-prove myself,” Serna said. “I had a pretty good game and [am] just looking to build off it. I got on the ball a lot early and built my confidence up.”
He admits MLS match time is different, although he hopes to be part of the gameplan going forward.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve started and played 90 minutes in MLS,” he said. “It felt good to get us back in the game at halftime but things didn’t go our way in the second half. For me it felt great to be back out there and now we’re looking ahead to Atlanta.”
The versatile Serna had recently seen time at left back. But as a naturally speedy attacker with a nose for goal and a serious shot from distance, his creativity has been missed most by the Rapids.
Serna hoped his reintroduction would come sooner, but such is life in pro soccer.
“I came back at the beginning of the season but picked up a little calf injury so that was frustrating,” Serna said. “I’ve been working hard and I knew I just had to be patient and my time would come.”